GVC Holdings’ Sportingbet brand illegally took wagers from Irish punters for two weeks after the country introduced its new online gambling regime.
Ireland’s new point-of-consumption online gambling laws took effect on August 1, yet the Malta-registered Sportingbet continued to take wagers from Irish punters for first two weeks of August. Sportingbet has applied for but has yet to be issued a new Irish online sports betting license.
On Tuesday, Sportingbet began contacting the 143 of its approximately 20k Irish customers who’d placed bets with the firm since August 1, informing them that the bets had been accepted in error. Punters were originally told that the bets in question would be voided, but Sportingbet has since worked out a deal with Irish authorities to honor all outstanding wagers.
Meanwhile, UK-based customers of Costa Rica-based online sportsbook 5Dimes.com were told this week that their business was no longer welcome. The site’s UK customers reported receiving emails from the company stating that it “can no longer accept wagers or registrations from UK based IPs. This is a business decision due to international compliance that has also caused other online sportsbooks to exit this market.”
The timing of 5Dimes’ move is odd, given that it’s been nearly one year since the UK imposed its new online gambling regime, which required UK-facing operators to either apply for a new UK Gambling Commission license or withdraw from the market. In July, the UKGC issued a report indicating that it had found “no evidence” of “any scale of illegal websites targeting Britain.”