Gibraltar-based gaming group 888 Holdings has moved a step closer to shift some of its operations to Malta in a bid to counter Brexit insecurity.

The company announced in its 2018 financial results, announced a few days ago, it had obtained a gambling licence in Malta where it planned to relocate some of its operations.

The group said it started restructuring its European-facing business last year. The exercise is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

“This would see part of the group’s operations migrated to other EU member states, most notably Malta, where the group is now a licensed operator,” it reported. The Malta licence was obtained at the end of last year, when it also got permission to operate in Sweden.

Turning to Brexit concerns, the company said it was unable to control political changes of this nature.

However, it said it would continue serving European markets with no disruptions to its business through its gaming licence in Malta and by establishing a server farm in Ireland.

It was unable to control political changes of this nature

The company posted higher profits though revenue was down after its UK business was hit by tighter regulation and higher taxes. Pre-tax profit rose to €96.2 million and revenue was down to €478.3 million from €479.3 million in 2017, according to the financial results.

When asked about its expansion plans to Malta, a spokeswoman only referred the Times of Malta to the financial results.

The Paradise Papers had indicated that the company already had a registered office in Ta’ Xbiex, through the holding company VHL Financing Limited.

Malta, like Gibraltar, is seen as an attractive location for gambling and gaming industries because of their low taxes. The country is seen as the main beneficiary in the industry, particularly in case of a hard Brexit.

Gibraltar is fighting back trying to assure companies they would still be able to operate within the same regime even when the UK left the EU. Still, companies continue to consider Malta as a Plan B.

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