The fallout from the UK’s regulatory crackdown on gambling operator continued in earnest this week as LeoVegas pulled its Royal Panda brand from the UK market. Royal Panda was not, apparently, pulling in the kind of revenue LeoVegas was expecting and the uncertain future of regulated gambling operations in the UK is so uncertain that remaining in the UK market was simply untenable.
The scenario that’s playing out with Royal Panda is definitely not what LeoVegas had in mind when it acquired the company back in 2017. Back then, Royal Panda was pulling in about half of its revenue from the UK market. That made it a pretty attractive acquisition for the Sweden-based LeoVegas. But the best laid plans of mice and men are often subject to the whims of fate, and crushing regulatory atmosphere that currently defines life in the UK gambling market.
Royal Panda’s UK players were informed of the reverse Brexit earlier this week in an email from the company. They were advised to pull funds from their accounts before January 31. At that point, Royal Panda will attempt to refund the cash directly to the players. Accounts that are unclaimed by January 31, 2021 will be donated to charity.
In a statement made to Gambling Insider, a spokesperson from LeoVegas described the situation saying, “It is correct that Royal Panda is leaving the UK market. We are focusing on the LeoVegas and other Rocket X-managed brands for the UK market going forward. Those brands are performing better in the UK market and therefore we want to invest in them rather than in Royal Panda.”
Royal Panda is believed to be the first gambling operator to exit the UK market due to an ongoing regulatory crackdown that’s chewed into revenue at an alarming rate.