Vera&John and InterCasino to close its doors in September
Casino operator JPG Group has confirmed reports that Vera&John and InterCasino will both withdraw from the UK market starting September. It’s yet another set of brands that have been ceasing operations in Great Britain since the beginning of the year.
The company behind popular UK casino sites InterCasino and Vera&John, the JPG Group, has confirmed that it will close down both online starting on 3 September this year. As of yesterday (5 August), new customers cannot register with the websites any longer.
If you are currently a player at any of the two sites, you will be able to continue playing until Tuesday, 27 August 2019. Please make sure to withdraw any money in your account until 3 September as you won’t be permitted to request withdrawals after this date.
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Performance not the reason for cease of operation
Statements from both companies don’t suggest that a lack in business is the driver for closing down the casino sites. In fact, JPJ Group repeatedly referred to Vera&John as one of the strongest brands in their portfolio and one of the main reasons for their 13% YOY increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2019. From the £83.3m revenue JPJ Group generated in total, Vera&John contributed with £34.2m more than one-third, an increase of 62% compared to the year before.
Just as Vera&John, InterCasino has also no concerning history of falling demand for its offering. The casino site is one of the oldest in the UK market and has delivered premium content to its players over the years.
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New Rules by Gambling Commission accept business profitability
Although JPG Group hasn’t stated the exact reason for closing down Vera&John and InterCasino, it is likely that it’s at least partly linked to the new rules around operating online casinos in the United Kingdom.
The Gambling Commission has been introducing new rules to make gambling fairer and safer. Licensees are required to identify and interact with customers who may be at risk of experiencing gambling harm and also complete the identity, age, and source of funds check before new customers can start playing games across the platform.
Gambling operators are further required to follow stricter rules when promoting their bonuses. Casino sites are no longer allowed to offer ‘Free Spins’ when, in fact, the player has to make an initial deposit to unlock the spins or is required to met certain wagering requirements before withdrawing any winnings.
While the Commission is all about fairness, safety and security, casinos often struggle to meet and monitor all rules imposed by regulators. Failing to do so results in potentially hefty fines and some companies are not willing to take that risk. Just last month, the Ladbrokes Coral Group was hit with a £5.9m fine after ‘systematic failings’ to protect customers and stop money laundering.
JPJ Group to acquire Gamesys
Despite shutting down part of its portfolio, JPJ Group has no plans to exit the UK market altogether and announced a conditional agreement to acquire the Gamesys platform for an estimated £490m. As part of this deal, JPJ will acquire all assets, including the online casinos Virgin Games and Monopoly Casino.