ComeOn! Exits UK Market As Gaming CEOs Come Under Fire

ComeOn! and its subsidiaries are leaving the UK to focus on other regions due to what executives describe as “uncertainty” in the market.

ComeOn! leaving the UK

ComeOn! has announced it will leave the UK due to unfavourable operating conditions. (Image: Seven Events)

News of the exit came on September 2 via a press release in which ComeOn! said a UK gaming licence had lost its appeal.

Increasingly competitive operating conditions were cited as a central reason for leaving. However, CEO Lahcene Merzoug implied non-compliance by other operators had called into question the market’s credibility.

“We’ve seen competitors being fined big numbers and that creates uncertainty. At the same time, the UK licence has lost its symbolic value. Before you almost had to have one to be looked upon as a credible company,” Merzoug said in the official press release.

Despite leaving one of the most buoyant online gaming markets in Europe, ComeOn!’s CEO remains confident. He went as far as to say that the UK had never been a “big market” for the company and it will now place more emphasis on countries such as Germany and Sweden.

ComeOn! Leaving As MPs Grill Bosses

Along with ComeOn!, subsidiaries MobileBet.com and GetLucky.com will also leave the UK. The brand’s departure will also take with it an innovative player tracking tool.

Announced on August 13, the artificial intelligence (AI) project aims to tackle problem gambling. By working in partnership with Neccton, ComeOn! Will use big data and machine learning to spot potentially dangerous behaviours in customers.

As well as identifying problem gambling, the software will help support workers deliver more effective advice.

In a time when the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is looking to raise standards, such a tool would have had a positive effect on the local gaming economy.

UK Gaming Brands Give Candid Testimony

While ComeOn! was making a break for it, UK online gaming operators have been in the firing line this week.

Attending an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting on September 4, the bosses of five betting brands gave their take on gambling in the UK.

According to a tweet from Labour MP Ronnie Cowan, executives from Sky Bet, William Hill, Tombola, Flutter Entertainment and bet365 admitted gambling had caused social harm.

In providing testimonies to the Gambling Related Harm APPG, each representative offered some important stats.

Operators Aware of Issues

Dan Taylor said 70,000 account holders across the Flutter Entertainment network had displayed signs of problem gambling.

For balance, William Hill CEO said Philip Bowcock said his team takes a proactive approach and closes around 30 percent VIP accounts each year due to signs of problem gambling.

The Gambling Related Harm APPG will use the evidence to produce a report for the government on the impact of gambling. What action that will trigger, if any, is unclear.

However, it seems that MPs are intent on intent on holding the industry to higher standards, despite the UK having some of the toughest gaming regulations in the world.

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