The huge UK based gaming company Ladbrokes has pulled out of the Canadian online gambling market and as of October 1st will no longer accept registrations or deposits, with existing players being given 30 days to withdraw funds from their accounts. The move will mainly affect Canadian online poker players and it comes after the company carried out a ‘review of Canadian igaming regulations.’
The leaving of the Canadian market is however thought to be connected to new UK online gaming legislation that was due to be in place by that same 1st October date, however has been put back for at least one month. The new UK legislation clearly states that companies applying, or holding the new UK license must make it legally clear and provide justification on why they accept online wagers from players in markets in which they do not hold a license. It’s an awkward situation with the Canadian market being a grey area, and leaving it is seen by many as a precautionary measure.
The Ladbrokes exit is likely to be followed by more UK focused gaming companies who are keen to keep a clean slate ahead of new regulations, with William Hill quite possibly to follow suit.
With new laws on the horizon there has been a flurry of activity regarding UK online casinos. The original date for implementation of new laws was to be October 1st, however after a challenge in the courts by representatives of gaming companies based in Gibraltar that date has been moved back to November 1st while decisions are made as to the legality of the new laws. The UK government is arguing that the new rules will lead to better consumer protection however those against it are claiming that no further consumer protection is required and that the real reason for the changes is to add on a 15% tax on wagers accepted from the UK. Both sides of the argument have now been heard and a decision will be made shortly, which has led to many online casinos pulling out of the UK market already. There are of course many great online casinos that will be staying in the UK market no matter what happens with Betway, RedBet and Mr Green just three that have confirmed their intentions to continue to serve the UK.