Internet Bingo and Job Creation

In the UK the internet bingo industry has created thousands of jobs throughout the country. Most of the jobs didn’t exist two decades ago. Most online bingo jobs require computer and programming skills. Bingo has a long History in the UK and the game gained widespread popularity and acceptance during the hectic postwar years. Old cinemas were converted into huge bingo halls capable of accommodating thousands of players. Today bingo is considered a part of British culture. Once the domain of working class women, Bingo has undergone a transformation over the years. The game went online in the late 90’s and the rest is history. In 2004 there were 20 internet bingo sites and currently there are over 350.

The internet bingo industry and the gambling industry in general have been beneficial in many ways. In licensing jurisdictions like Malta, Gibraltar, The Isle of Man and other jurisdictions the online gaming industry employs thousands who pay taxes and boost the economy. For about thirteen years Gibraltar has been a major hub for the online gaming industry. In fact the online gaming industry accounts for 12% of the tiny territory’s economy and employs about 2,500 people. Statistics show that about 60% of all wagers made in the UK are processed in Gibraltar.

The recent dispute with Spain over fishing rights has worried internet bingo and gaming operators in Gibraltar. Some fear that if the dispute escalates their jobs will be in jeopardy. Since the industry is such a big part of the nation’s economy losing jobs in the internet gaming industry would be a disaster. Warwick Bartlett , the CEO of an Isle of Man-based gambling consultancy, said he asked people in Malta why they would want to become an internet gambling hub and they replied-jobs. Today there are about 5,000 internet gambling jobs in Malta and most of them pay very well.

During the first part of the 21st century many internet bingo and casino operators felt pressured by the UK’s 15% tax rate. Since taxes in Gibraltar are only 1% and are capped the small territory became a magnet for some of the largest gaming companies in the UK. The UK government plans to get their share of the pie and imposed a 15% point of consumption tax which will undoubtedly affect the bottom line for online gaming operators. The new tax regime in the UK could be the action that kills the golden goose.