Betsson AB to Close Eight of Nine UK-Facing Online Casinos
Swedish operator Betsson AB is to close nearly all of its online casinos in the UK market, covering eight brands. The following casinos will cease operation in the UK market on the 21st of October, 2020:
- Jackpot 24/7
- Casino Winner
- Loyal Casino
We checked several of its UK sites this morning, and they were already not accepting deposits from British players.
Betsson AB released a statement on the 21st signed by CEO Pontus Lindwall and VP of Sustainability and Communications Jenny Lilljeqvist.
“The UK regulatory framework has undergone significant changes in the past few years, requiring extensive investments both in technology, regulatory compliance as well as marketing, which is not sustainable with the Group’s current UK setup,” the statement said.
Regular readers of our pages and anyone interested in gambling in the UK will be aware of the “significant changes” referred to here.
They have included a ban on credit card deposits, restrictions on advertising, and even more planned changes for next year. The UK’s economy is also threatened by the most serious COVID-19 outbreak in Europe and the looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
Before this decision, Betsson AB had nine brands operating in the UK across four separate licenses with the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Two of these licenses have been terminated, and the third has been dropped from its ongoing renewal process.
Betsson cited the rule changes and the relatively small market share it has in the UK (around 3% of the group’s yearly revenue) as reasons for its decision.
“This initiative will increase efficiency and have a positive impact on the contribution from our remaining UK business, Rizk. It will also enable resources to be reallocated for profitable growth in other markets,” read the statement.
Customers at any of the closed UK casinos will receive individual notifications shortly, as well as full refunds of all account balances and outstanding bets.
Any sports bets still awaiting results will be paid out as winning bets – undoubtedly good news for some.
Betsson’s flagship Betsson-branded casino was often in contention as one of the best online casinos in the UK for those in the know, with a massive game collection and excellent customer ratings across the board.
This latest loss to the UK market only serves to outline an argument we make often here at Online.Casino. Excessive regulation – especially from a market already under economic pressure – can often lead providers to shut up shop.
This is an argument often used in general economics, where the real-life application is frequently contested.
However, with online-only businesses like online casinos providing optional entertainment, the argument rings true time and time again.
Betsson’s UK exit shouldn’t be seen as a sign of a failing company. Just a few months ago, the Swedish operator signaled its intention to go after another prize – the growing US sports betting market.
Back in July, it signed a deal with Dostal Alley Casino in Central City, Colorado, to provide an online sportsbook service for residents there starting in 2021.
“I am very excited to reach this milestone, further expanding Betsson’s global reach by entering a new continent through the fast-growing online market in the US,”Pontus Lindwall, Betsson AB CEO
The question now is if other top-tier UK online casinos will follow in Betsson’s footsteps. Keep checking our pages for the latest on the UK gambling market updates and other online casino news!