Online gambling giant bet365 has moved its sports-betting operations to Gibraltar to join all other major UK firms in the industry in moving their online sports section abroad.
Bet365 will now operate its international betting business under a Gibraltar licence which has been the case for its gaming operations since 2007, currently around 200 people are employed by bet365 in the British overseas territory.
The change took place yesterday and saw bet365 join the likes of William Hill and Ladbrokes in running their sports-betting operations out of Gibraltar, while retaining their administrative headquarters in the UK.
Potentially tougher regulations of the gambling sector in Britain are believed to have factored in the decision which could save around 10% in corporate tax. Moving the sportsbook offshore means that bet365 will not have to pay the levy, at least in the short term with the government possibly extending the levy to offshore operators in the future.
Bet365 has a range of other licences including in Italy, Spain, Denmark and Australia, and from next year would have lost its double taxation relief in the UK under the new system.
The company has pledged that no jobs will be lost as a result of the move with bet365 set to retain technology, software, customer services and marketing departments in Stoke. Since being founded 14 years ago bet365 is one of the biggest employers of the Stoke-on-Trent area and over 2000 workers have been assured of their positions.
In fact, bet365 anticipate an uptake in UK-based staff over the next few years and have plans to construct a new headquarters building double the size of its current offices which could be completed by as soon as 2016.