Asian sports betting giants SBOBET has told its UK players their accounts will be closed as of Sept. 15 to accommodate the UKGC’s new regime. In an email to players, SBOBET said the “unfortunate circumstance” was a direct result of the UK’s new gambling laws.
“It’s a decision that we arrived at after a considerable discussion, debate and analysis. The fact for us is, as a major operator for the Asian handicapped system which is predicated on the value proposition. For every £100 we take as a stake, we pay £ out on the winnings. so we have a gross margin of 1%. The end of the day, we can’t run high-tech business like ours or any other iGaming company with these associated costs. Out of the 1% margin and then pay 15% gross tax. Simply doesn’t work,” said Bill Mummery.
SBOBet has quite a few Premier League sponsorship and following the rule changes, the UK Gambling Commission indicated in a letter sent to sports governing bodies: “We [the commission] are aware that in some cases commercial partnership arrangements [which include sponsorship] are in place between sports clubs or bodies and remote gambling operators who do not hold a commission licence. Those operators cannot, in our view, advertise their betting services without both making it clear in the product as advertised and in reality that betting is not available to those in Britain.
The body warned that clubs now risk prosecution if their sponsor failed to prevent gamblers in the UK accessing these sites or they were deemed to be failing in the “overall effort” to combat match-fixing through corrupt betting on “unlicensed operators in foreign markets”.
Following the rule changes another major operator, SBOBet, which has previously sponsored Southampton, Swansea City, Hull, Norwich and West Ham United, was forced to exit the Premier League this year.
“If there is one good thing that comes out from this is the timing was actually favorable; that we’ve been there for five years. We certainly had built the brand, built the recognition, built the trust. So we don’t have to act with haze. We have time to stand back and look at the alternatives. I guess the key things in Premier English football is, one it’s broadcast by 200 broadcasters every weekend so the global reach, more important to the player; it’s trusted. There isn’t another league in football, globally that is trusted as English Premier League, therefore if you’re betting on that product, you absolutely want to know that it’s clean as clean as it can be.”
Watch the video and hear more from Bill Mummery.