iGaming Operators Continue Exodus From International Grey Markets

iGaming Operators Continue Exodus From International Grey MarketsA new UK law requiring online operators to all but withdraw from grey markets, as well as the lure of the USA’s newly regulated online gambling industry, is starting to have a profound effect on the policies of a number of major companies in the business. Last week, for instance, the Amaya Gaming owned sites of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker withdrew from more than 30 countries across the globe, and this week the Amaya owned OnGame Poker Network also followed suit.
In addition, major operators such as Betsson, Poker Heaven, Paf, RedKings and RedBet, have pulled out of similar markets across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, while PKR has announced its withdrawal from Italy, and Bet365 from Romania.
This mass exodus from grey market jurisdictions is seen by online operators as a way of trying to satisfy the demands of regulated countries so as to not be excluded from their lucrative markets. Last year, for instance, the UK accounted for 8% of the global online gambling industry and so exiting from unregulated market  is now being seen as a shrewd business decision. As PokerStars Head of Corp Communications, Eric Hollreiser, tweeted recently:
“Re Qs about our withdrawal from some markets: This action aligns PokerStars and Full Tilt with Amaya’s global market policies. These markets represent a tiny fraction of our global revenues and our global customer base.”
The decision to pull out of certain unregulated markets, however, isn’t so clear cut for other operators, including Bet365 which last year generated around half its £1.3 billion revenues from grey markets, such as China. In the absence of extradition treaties with Western countries, the Chinese authorities, instead, have been focusing its efforts on going after Chinese residents flaunting gaming laws, including jailing four men in Jiangxi province for gambling on bet365’s web site, or sending to prison two men in Zhejiang for advertising bet365 on their blogs.
In the meanwhile, there is little pressure on Bet365 itself to alter its approach, and as a company statement explained, recently:
“There is no legislation that expressly prohibits the supply of remote gambling services into China by operators who are based outside China. Bet365 has no people, assets or infrastructure in China and does not engage any agent, aggregators or intermediaries, for any purpose, in China. In the view of bet365 and its lawyers, Chinese law does not extend to the provision of services into China by gambling operators and service providers who themselves have no nexus with the territory. Any allegation of illegality on the part of bet 365 is therefore untrue.”

Other news:   Multi-state online poker compact bill introduced in Pennsylvania

Poker News
Mississippi Casinos Post Record Revenue in April as Sports Betting Beckons
04 Jun 2018
Mississippi’s casinos generated gross gaming revenue of $184 million in April, or 5% more compared to the same month in 2017. Furthermore, that total represents an all-time high for the state, and is 1.3% more than the previous record set in 2007 when thousands of volunteers entered Mississippi to assist in cleanup efforts post-Hurricane Katrina.
Switzerland Prepares For June 10th Legalized iGambling Referendum
04 Jun 2018
On June 10th, Switzerland will hold a national referendum to decide whether the ‘Money Gaming Act’ passed by the Swiss Parliament in September 2017 can be implemented next year in its present form. The piece of legislation paves the way for land-based casinos and local partners to offer legalized online gambling in Switzerland, although a
MGM Resorts International Buys NY's Empire City Casino for $850 Million
02 Jun 2018
Real estate and entertainment conglomerate MGM Resorts International has revealed that it’s embarking on a purchase of Empire City Casino, a slots and pari-mutuel wagering venue located in Yonkers, N.Y., just a few miles north of Manhattan. The deal was announced May 29 in a press release, and is expected to be completed near the
Delaware to Launch Full-Scale Sports Betting on June 5th
02 Jun 2018
Last month’s decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the sports betting ban in the country has opened the floodgates for individual states to legalize and regulate sports wagering within their borders. Before its decision was even made, though, a number of states had already put in place the necessary legislation in order to