Online gambling operator Dafabet has recently announced that it is closing its UK online casino. The move has probably been triggered by and comes amid growing regulatory pressure within the field.
Dafabet Casino UK stopped accepting deposits on March 8, 2018 and will allow players to withdraw their funds until March 20, 2018. After that date, player balances will be returned automatically through the registered depositing method. The gambling operator said in a message on its website that its sports betting operations will not be affected by the closure of the casino business.
Dafabet operates in the UK with a license from the UK Gambling Commission. The operator also holds a license from the Isle of Man. Here it is important to note that Dafabet is the biggest and most popular brand of the AsianBGE gambling company. The gambling group hails from the Philippines and was originally licensed by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).
AsianBGE first gained recognition across Asia through its gaming and betting brands and later on penetrated UK’s gambling market. To secure wider exposure for its brands in Europe’s largest regulated market, the group has over the years sponsored some of UK’s largest football clubs.
Dafabet, in particular, currently sponsors Premier League’s Burnley F.C. The gambling operator signed a £2.5-million sponsorship deal with the football club for the 2017-18 football season. That most recent sponsorship agreement represented a £0.5 million increase from the previous football season.
While Dafabet has not provided information about its decision to close its casino business in the UK, that probably has to do with the already implemented and the pending changes within the country’s online gambling space.
Regulatory Pressure and Compliance Failures
After discovering multiple violations by a number of its licensees, the UK Gambling Commission, together with the Competition and Markets Authority and the Advertising Standards Authority, has initiated what could be dubbed as a multi-pronged crackdown on erring operators and their affiliate partners.
The nature of the violations has varied from breaches of advertising codes to poor anti-money laundering controls.
Most recently, the CMA announced that it has written to a number of online gambling operators, warning them against certain terms and practices that may be obstructing customers from accessing their funds in a manner they find fit.
The authority said that it was particularly concerned about the “unreasonably low” limits on withdrawing funds, short deadlines for players to verify their identity in order to be able to withdraw funds, and the so-called “dormancy” terms that make it possible for operators to confiscate money from their customers after the latter had been inactive for a certain period of time.
The UK Gambling Commission and other relevant regulators have pointed out that rules would be changed and new and existing operators would be probed more thoroughly over whether they are capable to comply fully with all terms of their licenses from UK’s gambling regulator.