Betting sites leaving the UK in 2020

Despite the country’s long standing relationship with the gambling industry, an increasing number of betting companies have chosen to exit the UK market over the past year.

The reasons for this are complex and varied. Over the course of this article, the current situation will be explained. We’ll then detail exactly which operators have ceased their UK operations, before speculating if any others could join them in the near future. 

Why are they leaving?

The reasons for betting companies pulling out of the UK market are numerous. Most notably, the UK Gambling Commission has recently enacted a series of stringent regulations that threaten to eat into operators’ profits.

For instance in 2019, the maximum stake permitted on fixed-odds gambling machines was slashed from £100 to just £2. This was a result of continued lobbying in parliament and it is not the only recent change that has been passed. 

In April, the Gambling Commission also outlawed the use of credit cards for any gambling related deposits. They are not done there either, with increased marketing restrictions set to be introduced in the not so distant future as well. 

This has led to the UK possessing one of the most regulated gambling sectors on the planet and many operators have been put off. They are now targeting countries where regulations are more lax. 

As well as this, the uncertainty caused by Brexit has also contributed to many gambling companies fleeing the UK market.

It remains unclear which of EU gambling regulations the UK will continue to adopt and amid these unanswered questions many brands have simply decided to cease operations. 

What companies have left?

Perhaps the most notable of the high profile bookmakers to act on this and depart the UK recently is Betsson.

The Sweden based company now only has one remaining brand in the country, Rizk. Betsson’s other sites: Betsson, Betsafe, CasinoEuro, Guts, Jackpot247, Kaboo, Live Roulette and RaceBets, have all been discontinued. 

“The eight UK-facing brands under the returned licences will be closed with effect from today with no further deposits or bets accepted.

The customers of these brands will be contacted accordingly, all deposits will be repaid, and all outstanding bets will be paid out as winning bets,” the company said in a statement released in October. 

Betsson joined the likes of 188Bet, InterCasino and BetBright in bringing their UK operations to a close.

Will more companies leave the UK in the future? 

Amid all of these brands leaving the UK, many players have been wondering whether more betting sites could depart the UK in the future.

This is something that cannot be ruled out, particularly with the government continuing to step up their regulation of the industry and Brexit uncertainty showing no signs of subsiding.

However, what is more likely is that companies will close their UK offices but remain in operation in the country. This was the path taken by Bet365 recently who announced that they would be relocating their operations to Malta as soon as the UK departed the EU.