1xBet No Longer Available in the UK
August 19th, 2019 3.00pm
A controversial 1xBet online casino can no longer be accessed from the UK after The Sunday Times revealed a number of questionable business practices conducted by the management. The Russian operator is currently undergoing the UK Gambling Commission investigation, and the online casino will remain under the temporary suspension until the regulator completes the inquiry.
The UK Gambling Commission Confirms the Launch of the Investigation
This is not the first time 1xBet stirs the rumours about its ethical standards – the operator has been put on the spot before, having faced similar issues in other jurisdictions. One of the most recent examples of 1xCorp N.V.’s notoriety was recorded in February 2019, when the operator was fined by Kansspelautoriteit after making the site accessible to the residents of the Netherlands. The lack of the gaming licence was not perceived as an issue and had it not been for the swift reaction of the Netherlands Gambling Authority, 1xBet would continue to illegally operate within the Netherlands jurisdiction. With a track record like that, it was only a question of time when 1xBet will appear on the UKGC radar.
The regulator confirmed its involvement, and the site will remain deactivated until further notice.
Judging from the recurring nature of the past incidents, it does not seem that 1xBet operator has learned the lesson and improved on the quality of its services. The casino is already blacklisted in its homeland and accused of distributing counterfeit games on several occasions.
It should, however, be underlined that 1xBet was never actually licenced by the UKGC – the operator was allowed to provide the gambling services as the white-label associate of FSB Technology (UK) Ltd, which took the appropriate steps to enforce the 1xBet site suspension. FSB Technology is currently reconsidering their licence agreement with 1xBet and the final decision will likely be reached after the UKGC discloses the results of the investigation.
The Unsavoury Details
From the perspective of those who honour the integrity of commercial gambling, the findings of The Sunday Times are quite distressing. According to the investigation, 1xBet was heavily involved in children sports illegal wagering, illicit advertising practices across illegal websites, and promoting the notorious Pornhub casino that features explicit pornographic content. The Sunday Times also revealed that 1xBet has a history of questionable collaborations with sites accused of illegally streaming Premier League events.
Peter Szyszko, the Chief Executive of White Bullet Solutions Ltd (intellectual property consulting firm based in London), stated that 1xBet has been under surveillance for quite some time now. Szyszko goes as far as to speculate that there is a possible link between the operators and criminal organizations in Russia, which gives a rather ominous twist to the entire affair.
1xBet Denies All Allegations
At the moment, the operator maintains its “innocence”, claiming that the objectionable advertising practices are to be blamed on the third-party affiliates and the networks which feature the casino. In the official statement, the operator said the following:
“If any of these third-party networks or partners are found to advertise the 1xBet brand on prohibited sites or sites that break the law, 1xBet shall investigate immediately”.
1xBet’s dirty laundry could not have been exposed at the worst time, seeing how the operator recently announced partnerships with Liverpool and Chelsea (following the last year’s contract with Tottenham).
Apart from the already-mentioned incident with the Netherlands Gambling Authority, 1xBet has already butted heads with Tel Aviv District Court, which ruled that all 1xBet sites aiming at Israeli players must be blocked. Once again, the operator could not be bothered to acquire the necessary gaming licences and simply decided to boldly go around the legal requirements.
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