Bethard Group, the Malta-based online gambling operator, has confirmed exiting the UK online gambling market by July 6, 2020. No wagers or online transactions from the UK Players will be accepted from next month.
The decision came because of the restrictive regulatory regime and the strictness prevailing in the UK Gambling Market. Bethard Group has asked the UK customers to withdraw their funds by August 10, 2020, and clear the accounts of the players. The call for the exit came after the guidelines of the licensing procedures provided by the UK Gambling Commission.
Moreover, the group has confirmed to the news agencies that the decision was taken during the lockdown period where the online gambling operator has decided to move to profitable markets. Bethard Group secured its license from the UK Gambling Commission in the year 2018 to knock the multi-market expansion in countries like Ireland, UK, and Denmark. The online gambling operator has already established its market in Sweden as a ‘challenger sportsbook’ operator.
Reviewing Marketplace Options
The management of Bethard Group has chosen not to provide any official statement regarding its exit. Still, it has clarified that it is reviewing and has reviewed some of the excellent marketplace options. Not only Bethard but the UK Gambling Market in the past has seen many big gambling brands exiting. These are Betclic Everest, 188BET, Royal Panda, ComeOn. A few licensed gambling operators took this stand because of the enforcement reforms, regulations, and online gaming fees implemented between 2019 and 2020.
Moreover, the Bethard management announced, “The Company will make its presence in the developed gambling markets like Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Malta, and Sweden through the licenses.”
Bethard Group stated, “We obtained the license two years back to operate in the developed UK Gambling market. Due to the latest strategic and strict decisions, the gambling operator, after careful review of all other options, has chosen to step out of the UK Gambling market.”
Even the customers who are playing online gambling games on Bethard has stated that they have received emails from the company that they are withdrawing from the market next month on July 6, 2020. The wager will be available until this date, and after or before that date, players must withdraw all their money and winning amount too. All the open bets will also be closed to this date by the Bethard Group. If there is any balance left in the accounts of the players, they can withdraw by August 10, 2020.
A few experts and news reports believe that Bethard Group gave this decision in the light of a prolonged lockdown that was implemented in the UK due to Coronavirus. It has made its customers not to wager on major sports events since the government banned them.
Another reason for the withdrawal of the Malta-based online gambling operator came when the reports were going around the ‘All-Party Parliamentary Group’s’ proposal to devise new regulations for the UK’s online and offline gambling market. The parliamentarians proposed a ban on gambling advertising through online or TV modes. Even they wanted to put an end to the VIP Incentive programs and limit the stake for online slots to £2. These reasons led the Bethard Group to decide to exit the UK Gambling market since the coming times will start getting tougher for the UK-based Gambling brands.
Official Statement On The Exit Of Bethard Group
The present inhospitable climate prevailing in the UK for the hospitality and leisure industry is stated to be the reason behind the exit of all these gambling operators. Moreover, a report stated that the gambling operator has to face a fine of SEK 400k from Swedish Online Gambling Regulator for accepting wagers for underage football. But, the gambling operator still finds the Swedish market a profitable one as compared to the UK market.
A news report stated, “Although the Bethard Group faced a fine from Swedish gambling operator and knows that the UK market is single-handedly the biggest gambling market, it is now slowly becoming a nightmare for many gambling brands. The reasons are the flak received from the UK Gambling Commission, opposed for their regulations by the politicians, criticized from the Advertising Standards Authority, and even the mainstream UK media too.”
The draconian laws and regulations put forth by the parliamentary members and the UK Government for criticising the gambling operators for not carrying out responsible gambling is another reason for many brands to call for a quit. News reports altogether cannot blame the Bethard Group, too, since it has given enough time to its UK-based players to withdraw their money.
But, experts are of the view that this will hamper the profit earning market of the UK since the gambling market deposits a good number of taxes to the UK Authorities. But, the exit came from the brand because it needs to take its business into new profitable markets.