Ladbrokes Exits Canadian Online Gambling Market

Ladbrokes Exits Canadian Online Gambling MarketUK bookmaker Ladbrokes has announced it is to exit the Canadian gambling market from October 1st, after which time players will not be able to deposit or wager on its sites, and will be given just 30 days to withdraw their funds.
A company statement also added that any “bonus funds and pending winnings still tied into wagering requirements in accounts from Canada will be forfeited.” Needless to say, giving Ladbrokes customers little more than a week to cash out bonuses and winnings will not create the best impression amongst the company’s many customers and could  reflect poorly on its brand credibility.
Up until now, Ladbrokes had a sports betting operation and an iPoker network skin in the Canadian market, but the company now joins a whole host of other operators who have also quit the Great White North, including Matchbook, EuroPartners and Betfred.
One possible reason for the company’s withdrawal from Canada may be linked to Canadian law which only permits the country’s provincial lottery corporations to offer online betting services. Similarly, the UK’s new ‘Gambling, License and Advertising Bill’ which comes into effect on October 1st will only grant an operating license to those companies generating no more than 3% of their revenues from ‘grey markets.’ Although the UK Gambling Commission may make allowances if a sufficiently convincing legal justification is provided, it could still be the case that Ladbrokes would not have felt comfortable explaining the legal basis for its unlicensed presence in the Canadian market.
So far, Ladbrokes has yet to give the precise reason behind its decision, but a tight-lipped public statement did say that; “We regularly review our ability to offer gambling facilities in different countries throughout the world.. There are a lot of markets that are a grey area on a legal basis.”
Ladbrokes’ Canadian operation only accounted for around 0.5% of its business, but after the announcement was made Ladbrokes shares are currently trading 1.93% lower at 126.90p in London.

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