The online casino and sportsbook operator Novibet has decided to leave the UK market, and has suspended their licence with immediate effect.
It means that customers of the brand’s channels will no longer be able to access their games, and are instead instructed to withdraw any funds they have in their account.
A message on the firm’s website reads:
“We would like to inform you that Novibet will not continue to operate in the UK from 21.02.2022. If you already have funds in your game account, please kindly withdraw them.
“For any questions or clarifications, please contact our customer support team.”
The parent company, Novigroup Ltd, operates a number of entities in the sector, including Novibet, Novi Casino and KingSolomons.com. However, they have surrendered all of their UK licenses – including the casino accreditation they were handed by the Gambling Commission back in November 2014.
Novibet’s UK facing social media accounts have already been deactivated – a move which has attracted criticism from some as customers seek clarification on the status of their open bets and outstanding bonus funds. A statement from Novigroup reads:
“Novibet has decided to surrender its Gambling Commission of Great Britain licence with immediate effect, on February 21, marking the conclusion of eight years proudly serving more than 368,000 customers.
“Novibet is solvent, customer funds are safe, and the cessation of business will be undertaken in an orderly fashion. All departments at Novibet are prepared for the smooth withdrawal from the [UK] market, and Novibet invites its members to withdraw any funds in their customer accounts.”
A Hasty Retreat
While a formal reason hasn’t been given for the company’s exit, it is believed that they – like many before them – will instead now focus their attention on securing a slice of the potentially lucrative North American market, which is experiencing liberalisation at a rate previously unheard of.
The decision is likely to have come as a big shock to a handful of firms that have only recently signed content deals with Novigroup. In November, they inked a deal with Inspired, who were tasked with providing the operator’s virtual sports betting markets.
Inspired’s CEO Brooks Pierce said of the agreement:
“Novibet is a leading online gaming operator and has been a long-standing customer of Inspired’s on the iGaming side.
“We are very excited to further enhance their online portfolio to include our award-winning virtual sports, and we look forward to working together to grow their brand across Europe.”
And as recently as January, ORYX Gaming announced they had ‘expanded our reach in the UK market’ after penning a deal with Novibet.
ORYX have produced a number of slot games including Joker Max and Battle Dwarf, while the ORYX Hub has seen them partner with more than 100 independent game developers to bring together a catalogue of 10,000 titles – which Novibet had planned to tap into.
The CEO of Bragg Gaming, the holding company of ORYX, was ‘excited’ to be part of the Novibet brand. Chris Looney said at the time:
“We are very excited to introduce our content to a new audience in the UK, a market that provides Bragg with great potential and significant growth opportunities.
“Our expanded partnership with Novibet further aligns our player popular content with this leading iGaming operator, and we are excited to bolster our collaboration in 2022 by launching in additional markets.”
Why did the Novigroup partner with these firms so recently if they had planned to leave the UK market all along?