The closure of 188Bet in Britain and Ireland is bringing bad news for ante-post punters. As trading on the platform ceases, it will honor ante-post bets for events that are completed in the next three months. Betbright set a precedent to make ante-post bets avoid when it closes down, and the Gambling Commission failed to take actions on the same.
188Bet recently released a statement in which they said that the firm is still solvent. The customers have time till 30 August to withdraw their funds. It will settle all ante-post bets on all events completed by 30 June. This means that punters still have a chance to bet on the current football season. However, the company’s decision to void longer-term bets seem curious at a time when it claims to be solvent and is still trading in other countries.
Justice for Punters’ Brian Chappell spoke to The Guardian about the latest events and claimed that it was good that customer funds are safe. However, he noted that the Gambling Commission’s approach on the recent closure of BetBright had given other companies the standards to follow, i.e., renege on bets even when they are solvent. He noted that it is “a poor precedent for a regulator to set.”
Horse racing has always had to bear bad news related to bookmakers and is the worst affected because of the 188Bet exit. The champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa was sponsored by 188Bet last year, and now, the races need new sponsors. Both the Chester Cup and Solario need sponsors backing. 188Bet’s parent company Annatar Ltd issued a notice about the company’s abrupt exit from the British/Irish markets on 188Bet.com on Tuesday. The company did not provide any explanation for its decisions but said that it a commercial activity in a very competitive market.
The company is basically an Asian-focused operation, and it entered the UK market to gain access to sponsorship opportunities in the British football scene. The sport is very popular among Asian bettors. However, as it has now shunned the UK market, it will not be able to sponsor UK football anymore. The company was also an Authorized Betting Partner of UK racing and had several sponsorship ties with rugby, snooker and cricket outfits in the region.