Thursday July 17,2014 : ONLINE OPERATORS PREPARING FOR U.K. CHANGES
But not a lot of official communication is happening.
Despite a surprising lack of official communication with players, it appears that several major online casino groups operating a slew of well-known brands – Digimedia, Vegas Partner Lounge and the Palace Group have been specifically named by puzzled punters – may be preparing to consolidate their British players on UK-oriented brands that will presumably be submitted for British licensing under the new point-of-consumption regulatory and tax regime due for implementation in October 2014.
UK players across several popular forums, left by an apparent communications vacuum to speculate on their futures, have been told by casino reps that there are moves afoot to consolidate UK players on specific UK-oriented websites, which will be the subject of licence applications to the UK Gambling Commission.
In some cases, players report that the process has already been set in motion, with arbitrary transfers to sites like Casino UK imminent, but little in the way of public explanation to the player base, amid concerns regarding potential problems due to current tournaments being disrupted.
Applications for UK licensing have to be submitted by September 16, and players are confused by the sudden rush to action and the paucity of information from operators. There is speculation that corporate restructuring may be necessary, and that this has occasioned the sudden changes, which have included shut-outs at very short notice.
The scant information available so far does however suggest that there are definite plans by many operators to stay in the British market despite the new restrictions and taxes, and that British online punters will not be short of choices under the new regime.
Although they are clearly not entirely happy with the situation, major groups like William Hill and Ladbrokes have indicated that they will be complying with the new system, and it seems likely that the popular 32Red group will be doing likewise, whilst UK online gambling giant bet365 is already firmly entrenched and has been paying UK taxes under Gaming Commission licensing for years.
If the speculation is correct, these operators will be joined by a growing number of reputable and well-established online casino groups powered by several software providers.
With the player consolidation process now apparently in motion, there is a growing need for player-targeted communications from operators who have clearly made their strategic decisions and are now acting on them.