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Locus Gaming stop trading; Mansion UK clarification; Pinnacle next to leave UK?

TAGs: jack gold, locus gaming, Mansion, pinnacle sports, UK Gambling Commission

jack-gold-mansion-pinnacle-locusThe company behind the Jack Gold mobile casino has announced it is no longer accepting wagers. Isle of Man-licensed firm Locus Gaming has informed Jack Gold players that “a decision has been made to cease taking bets for the time being.” A statement on the JackGold.com site didn’t offer a reason behind the change, saying only “it is hoped that this situation will be resolved in the near future” but “game play will be suspended for the time being.”

Locus insists that it is “doing all we can to resume normal service as soon as possible” while stressing that “there is no risk at all to customer funds.” Players will have until Oct. 10 to withdraw their account balances but bonus funds and loyalty points can’t be converted to cash and withdrawn “for the time being.” Jack Gold launched in February 2013 as the baby of former Ladbrokes digital execs Ed Andrewes and Mick D’Ancona.

MANSION CLARIFIES UK MARKET STANCE
Meanwhile, online betting operator Mansion Group says rumors of its UK market demise have been greatly exaggerated. Last week, reports spread that the primarily Asian-facing operator was ditching the UK ahead of the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) Sept. 15 deadline for new license applicants. On Wednesday, Mansion issued a statement clarifying that “is currently in the application process” for a new UK license and “will continue to fully support all current and potential players” as the process unfolds.

The UK is revising its online gambling regime, bringing an end to the so-called ‘white list’ licensing jurisdictions of Alderney, Isle of Man and Antigua. As of Oct. 1, all UK-facing operators are required to hold a UKGC-issued license (assuming the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association’s legal challenge fails). As of Dec. 1, these newly licensed firms will be required to pay a 15% point of consumption tax (POCT) on all wagers placed by UK punters.

Mansion’s reassurances don’t apply to its online poker operations, which will quit the UK market as advertised, but the vertical represents “a very marginal part” of Mansion’s overall operations. Like Asian-facing operator 12Bet, which announced last week that it would pull its UK sportsbook but retain its UK-facing casino while its own license application was pending, Mansion says none of its casino brands – Casino.com, MansionCasino.com, LesAcasino.com, Club777.com and SlotsHeaven.com – are affected by its poker shutdown.

PINNACLE OUT OF UK?
Meanwhile, online sports betting stalwarts Pinnacle Sports are being pegged as next to bid the UK market adieu. Rumors of Pinnacle’s imminent UK exit spread via Twitter on Wednesday, and Pinnacle has responded to player inquiries with variations on ‘no comment,’ while stating that UK customers “will always be entitled to the funds in their accounts.”

Pinnacle voluntarily surrendered its Alderney gaming license last January, shortly after US authorities broke up what they claimed was an illegal proxy betting operation connecting Pinnacle with Nevada sportsbook operator CG Technology (formerly Cantor Gaming). Most of the individuals indicted via this action have seen their charges dropped or significantly reduced.

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