An extraordinary release on Betsson’s website has revealed that the gambling operator is all but exiting the UK market due to heightening regulatory concerns.
As a consequence, they are putting all of their eggs in one basket – Rizk, the online casino and sports betting site, will be the only Betsson owned brand left open in the UK.
Otherwise, the rest of their umbrella – which includes eight other brands, including Betsafe, Jackpot 24/7 and CasinoEuro, operating under four licenses – will be closed with immediate effect as Betsson looks to consolidate its position.
No further deposits will be accepted at any of them nor will any bets, and players at any of Betsson’s closing brands will be contacted directly to process refunds. Interestingly, the firm has confirmed that outstanding sports bets will all be closed as winners.
They had already closed their UK office back in 2018, and this is the final step in their almost complete withdrawal from the market.
A statement on Betsson’s website reveals that the move will ‘…enable resources to be reallocated for profitable growth in other markets’, and that the eight brands to be shut down in the UK will continue to trade in many of the other jurisdictions in which they operate.
The press release points to the ‘significant changes’ that have taken place within the UK’s regulatory framework in the past few years, which Betsson claim have required ‘extensive investment’ to comply with while progressing as a company.
And in an attempt to ease the concerns of shareholders, Betsson reiterated that their relatively small UK market share – which represents around 3% of their global revenue – will not have a hugely detrimental effect on the company’s status.
Nevertheless, the group’s share price was down 2.64% to 70.00 SEK on Wednesday.
Who Are Betsson?
All told, Betsson has 20 betting ‘products’ in their armoury which are available in a number of jurisdictions….albeit not in the UK anymore.
The Swedish firm has their own Betsson platform that is popular across Scandinavia, while NordicBet, Betsafe and CasinoEuro will continue in their current guises as well.
They are, today, one of the largest gambling groups in Europe, and they have grown exponentially from their foundation, which essentially took place in 1963. The ‘AB Restaurang Rouletter’ firm was founded by Bill Lindwall and Rolf Lundström, which was later renamed Cherryföretagen AB (Cherry). They were renowned for supplying slot machines to restaurants in Sweden, which was where their entry point into the casino industry was born.
After moving into the online sector, Betsson’s growth was achieved through a series of smart mergers and acquisitions, including a minority share of NetEnt purchased back in 1998 and the total takeover of Betsafe in 2011 for a cool £25 million, which saw their customer base reach 419,000 – surpassing Unibet as Scandinavia’s most populous operator.
In 2003, Pontus Lindwall – the CEO of Cherry and son of AB Restaurang Rouletter founder Bill – oversaw a merger of sorts between Cherry and Betsson, and that consolidation enabled the firm to spread its wings into new markets like the UK.
Further positions were acquired in NetPlay TV in 2017, adding Jackpot24/7, SuperCasino and Vernons to their portfolio, while in February 2020 the acquisition of some of Gaming Innovation Group’s assets saw Betsson take over the running of Rizk, which will now be their sole entry into the UK market.