Vera&John and InterCasino are
escaping the restrictive noose of UK online casino laws before the
month is out.
On the morning of August 5, 2019, JPG Group issued a mass email to all UK-based customers and affiliates of its
flagship online casino operations, Vera&John and InterCasino, advising them to initiate a withdrawal
request of any remaining balance in their accounts. They were given
four weeks, until September 3, to complete the extraction of
What brought about this sudden and rapid exodus
from the UK market? The emails failed to address that most obvious
question, but there’s little doubt in my mind as to the nature of
their decision. The UK is simply too hard to run a successful iGaming
Vera&John, InterCasino Escape UK Online
Ever since the jurisdiction began requiring
UK-facing operators to obtain expensive online casino licenses, the
laws have become increasing more strict, so much so that this highly
competitive market is difficult to sustain operations in. Suffice it
to say, you know the situation is serious when online casinos of this
caliber are feeling the squeeze.
Fears that the market would become unprofitable
arose in late 2014, the moment licensure became mandatory. The UK
enforced a 15% tax, and demanded compliance with local laws,
including the severance of any connection with black-market player
acceptance. For example, in order to accept UK players, a license
holder could not accept US players.
Many chose to follow the letter of the law, but
the noose has become progressively tighter in the last 5 years. Now,
player protections are so stringent that bonuses are being effected.
Terms of services are constantly being rewritten. Affluent players
must be asked to verify their source of funds, proving they can
afford to wager so much. The fines for non-compliance are growing
larger by the infraction, costing the region’s largest and oldest
operators penalties in the multi-millions.
JPG Group Dumping its UK Licenses
No doubt JPG Group, owner of Vera&John and
InterCasino, is no longer acquiesce to the shrinking noose that has
become the UK market. With its UK online casino licenses expiring,
the company is choosing not to submit an application for extension.
As of August 5, no UK players are permitted to
sign up a new account. Existing UK players are asked to finish up
their wagering by August 27, and finalize any cash out request no
later than September 3, when all UK operations will cease for good.
Operations will Continue from Malta and Sweden
JPG Group will continue to maintain its local
licenses in Malta, where the company’s head offices reside, as well
as its Swedish licenses. As such, all other current players (outside
UK) will still have access to both of these highly reputable gaming
InterCasino is historically famous for being
the very first online casino to launch on the world wide web in 1996.
Its operations have changed hands several times in the last 23 years,
now beneath the capable wing of JPG Group. Vera&John was
originally founded as Mari Bingo, but sold its operation to Unibet in
2007, then re-launched under the new name in 2011. It’s been a staple
of iGaming throughout Europe every since.
Announcing the Cessation of UK Operations
In its email to UK players, JPG Group wrote:
“We are sorry to announce that Vera & John and InterCasino will cease to operate in the UK market as of 3rd September 2019(“Closure Date”). In addition, please be advised that as of today, 5th August 2019 we have ceased to accept new customers and the registration form has been disabled.”
Affiliates of Vera&John and InterCasino
received a similar missive, advising them that all UK-based
commissions generated prior to September 3 will be honored and paid
“shortly after Closure Date”. All marketing materials for new UK
players should be removed immediately, but accounts will continue to
operate as usual while affiliates are encouraged to drive traffic
from other markets where depositors are still welcome.
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