Announcement to stakeholders
Cherry-owned iGaming operator ComeOn has announced that it will exit the UK market later this month.
The European-focused online gambling company first obtained its license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) back in 2014. The ending of this five-year association was announced in a recent update to stakeholders.
Stricter rulings in the UK have resulted in several well-known gaming companies being slapped with huge fines from the UKGC after increased duty of care procedures were introduced.
While ComeOn has not been found to have breached any of these rules, the company announced to shareholders that it wasn’t taking any chances.
In the briefing, ComeOn CEO Labcene Merzoug said:
The UK is a very mature and highly competitive market and the financial risks are big.”
He emphasized that ComeOn has never had a non-compliance breach, while admitting that the issuing of such large fines to competitors has created uncertainty.
Merzoug also confirmed that the company would withdraw its other brands, Mobilebet and GetLucky, from the UK market.
Closure by end of the month
New British users of all three sites will continue to be accepted until September 23 and existing users will only be allowed to bet or deposit up until September 27. They then have until September 29 to withdraw funds online. However, customer support will assist with withdrawals after this date.
However, the company has been hit with large fines of £1.7m ($2m) by the Swedish regulator SGA under their Haiper and Faster brands after they were found offering bets to under-18s. The company announced it is now looking to appeal, declaring the fines “unproportional” to the offense.
Symbolic value of license declining
With the UKGC continuing to issue record-breaking fines, ComeOn is making the decision to withdraw from the market before further restrictions are announced. Concluding his statement Merzoug said:
“The UK license has lost its symbolic value. Before you almost had to have one to be looked upon as a credible company. Today we hold licenses in many European countries and given that the UK has never been a big market for us, it’s a wise move to put our focus elsewhere.”