Come On Brexit? ComeOn is Leaving the UKPublished September 5, 2019 by Lee R
ComeOn is the second major operator to depart from the new UK market.
Major operator ComeOn is withdrawing from the massive UK market to change its focus to what it calls “favourable markets.”
Sour on the UK
The Cherry-owned iGaming brand had been operating in the UK since 2014, offering a slate of dominant UKGC-licenced gambling sites including ComeOn.com, MobileBet.com and GetLucky.com.
More Favorable Regions
CEO Identifies New Risks
ComeOn CEO Lahcene Merzoug said his company was no longer further willing to take on the financial risks of operating in the “mature and highly competitive market” that the UK represents.
Merzoug linked the risk and other market departures to the UKGC's stricter enforcement of customer KYCs and care-of-duty procedures:
“We have never had a non-compliance breach, but we’ve seen competitors being fined big numbers and that creates uncertainty.”
Merzoug further questioned the allure of the UK market, saying “the UK licence has lost it’s symbolic value. Before you almost had to have one to be looked upon as a credible company.”
However, today Merzoug is comfortable with the licences his organization holds in other jurisdictions, “and given that the UK has never been a big market for us, it’s a wise move to put our focus elsewhere.”
Earlier Major Departure
Other signs of exodus include last month's announcement by JPJ Group of its intention to withdraw its
Vera & John and InterCasino brands from the UK market, with the two brands ceasing operations as of September 3rd
Good Initiative, Bad Penalty
With the UKGC enforcing legitimate player protections like never before, the nobility of the goal risks getting obfuscated by punitive fines that have the potential to turn off licencees and applicants.
The ComeOn departure provides a timely example of the need for even the most socially conscious regulations to be effectively implemented and adapted to sustain a healthy market.