What Happened To Bethard? Why Are They Leaving The UK?
Bethard are the latest in a long line of European based sites to exit the UK market when they announced they would no longer be accepting registrations from UK customers after the 16th June 2020. The site is due to cease transactions on the 6th July for existing UK users.
Existing customers can login until the 10th August to withdraw any funds, after this date it it not yet known if the site will stay live for further withdrawals and you may need to contact support after this date to claim any remaining funds. The site is not closing down, simply existing the UK as a whole and so any money in your account is safe.
The company are also yet to release details on what will happen to ante-post bets due to settle after the 10th August, once we have this information we will update this page.
Why Have Bethard Left The UK
The company originally herald from Scandinavia, as have a lot of new brands in the UK market over the last 5 years. Like many other sites from that region they have decided to leave the UK in a hurry, Royal Panda pulled the same trick earlier this year.
Bethard said in a statement:
“Please be informed that after a careful review of our strategic options, Bethard Group have taken the decision to withdraw from the UK market.”
What this means in real world language is they are finding the UK too hard to operate in and less profitable compared to other markets. There is unlikely to be one single reason but it is most likely to do with the higher point of consumption tax brought in in 2019 along with new verification rules and heightened expectations around customer protection that the group feel makes the UK no longer worth the effort.
Bethard only entered the UK in 2018 and are leaving less than two years later. It is highly likely due to the timing of the news that the financial pressures incurred due to coronavirus and lockdown have also impacted their decisions. Bethard are generally more aimed towards sports betting than casino and will likely have experienced a large loss of revenue from March onwards this year.
The UK market is also the most competitive in the world and more than half of the brands that try to work in the UK end up failing or exiting. It is likely they feel they do not have enough market share to justify the resources now required to appropriately monitor UK customers in light of new regulations, many of which have been strengthened recently to deal with problem gambling during lockdown.
Is It A Big Loss?
The UK market is flooded with gambling sites and companies and so its reasonable to say they will not be missed for very long. Bethard were, however, well regarded as an independent company that developed their own platform with their own traders, features, etc. They were quite a unique site and with so many white labels and sites run on third-party platforms now on the market they offered a refreshing change.
Unfortunately this seems to be a one-way street at the moment, most companies that are not based in the UK or where the UK is not their major market share are now looking to exit the country before even stricter regulations and/or a new gambling act is brought in.
The UKGC and other bodies are bringing in tighter regulation, ultimately, to make gambling safer. No one would argue with the reasoning behind these decisions but a sad consequence of this is it plays into the hands of the biggest companies with the biggest resources, the likes of GVC (Ladbrokes, Coral, etc.) and Flutter/Stars (Betfair, Paddy Power, etc.). This could potentially lead to a less competitive market for customers with big monopolies in the future. Then again, some would say that is the nature of capitalism and you don’t get a more capitalist industry than gambling.