Bet-At-Home Exits the UK market permanently

Bet-At-Home Exits the UK market permanently

In the last few years, bet-at- home has been dealt a bad hand many times. After losing its UK gaming license, the company left Austria and refused to fight back.

After its license was suspended in the UK, bet-at-home announced it would be leaving the market. The upcoming review process could have restored bet-at- home’s license and allowed the company to continue operations. However, customers of the platform haven’t been able to place bets since July 6, the license was suspended on July 7, and now a statement from the company website reads “Unfortunately, we’ve decided to surrender our operating license granted by the UK Gambling Commission and to exit the British market.”

The license was suspended according to section 118 (2) of the Gambling Act, while the pending review was going to be conducted under section 116 of the 2005 Gambling Act. With the company surrendering its license, this review will be aborted and all that is left is to leave the market. The exit is definitely happening quickly, as evidenced by the suspension of its GB Affiliate program.

The players will be able to withdraw their money from their accounts until 10 pm on September 30. If a player wishes to withdraw after this date, there will be an option to contact bet-at- home and request a refund. The option will be available until June 30, 2023. Bet-at- home will only have to deal with customers that have been with it before the license was suspended.

Bet-at-home’s license was suspended after the UKGC started suspecting failures in social responsibility and anti-money laundering. The company’s refusal to go through a regulatory review to get its license back doesn’t bode well for it, and certainly doesn’t do much in the way of disproving or denying the alleged failures.

This isn’t the first bad news for the gaming operator. In May, the company had a tough announcement to make, seeing its Q1 revenue drop around 50% to $15.0 million, due to more regulatory difficulties across multiple European countries, with Germany and Netherlands being the most prominent names.

The problem in the Netherlands was caused by the need to apply for a license under the new Dutch enforcement policies, in order to be able to return to the market, pending approval of the said license. Operators in Germany were required to follow the country’s Fourth State Treaty on Gambling, stating a limit of 1 for slots stakes. The reason for dropping revenue was that many non- compliant operators were making easy profits before regulatory actions changed. When rules aren’t followed, Germany isn’t known for dragging its feet.

The story in Austria isn’t the same. It is worse than the UK situation, but it is also much more similar. With Casinos Austria being the only legally licensed gaming operator, bet-at-home was betting on a favorable court decision, while also not having any illusions of continuing operations, which left the Austrian market as a whole. The restructuring process of exiting the Austrian market resulted in the laying off of 65 people.

Things don’t improve much if you go further back. Bet-at- Home’s financials were down by 11.4% in 2020 compared to the previous year, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, canceled sporting events, financial instability, and more. It seems that the operator has to overcome hurdle after hurdle.

Summary:

Bet-at-home has announced that it has decided to surrender its operating license granted by the UK Gambling Commission and exit the British market. This comes days after the company’s license was suspended in the UK. The pending review was going to be conducted under section 116 of the 2005 Gambling Act, while the license was suspended according to section 118 (2) of the Gambling Act.