188Bet Announces Closure In UK & Ireland Due To ‘Competitive Markets’
Betting operator 188Bet announced its closure this week in the UK and Ireland due to “competitive markets”.
The website stopped providing gambling services to players in Great Britain, Gibraltar, the Channel Islands, Ireland and Northern Ireland from Wednesday (March 26) shortly after publishing an announcement on their closure.
In the announcement, Annatar, 188Bet’s parent company, revealed that it is “solvent” and is ready to meet financial obligations including the refunding of players’ accounts.
The statement also states that players have until 23:49 PM on August 30, 2019, to log-in and withdraw any funds. Meanwhile, the site will honour pending bets for all events up to midnight on June 30 and single bets for events after this date will be voided and returned to players. However, multiple bets for after June 30 will be settled as normal.
While representatives for Annatar and 188Bet haven’t issued a statement on the firm’s closure, a spokesperson from the UK Gambling Commission told Gambling Insider that they are making enquiries with the operator.
They said: “We are making enquiries with 188Bet into this matter but we do not talk about ongoing cases. We advise all customers who are affected to carefully read the operator’s website.”
188Bet first launched in the UK back in 2006 and was marketed as a specialist bookmaker. It made history when it became the first online bookmaker to sponsor Premier League football clubs Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic. In addition, the firm was also the gambling partner of football teams Chelsea and Aston Villa.
The news comes after Irish bookmaker BetBright announced its closure. The firm was bought by 888 Holdings and announced its closure earlier this month, stating that it would be voiding all ante-post bets.
The announcement sparked outrage, leading the UK Gambling Commission to launch an investigation into the closure and 888’s purchase of the firm. It later announced it was “content” with the deal, sparking even more complaints and forcing the Commission to defend its decision on the matter.