What Happened to Sun Bets?
Sun Bets and Sun Play was launched less than 2 years ago by the Sun-News Group Newspapers Limited and Australian wagering company Tabcorp UK, who owns brands like Sky Racing in Australia, and has already ceased trading. This recent event is not necessarily the end of Sun Bets, as there is a chance of it returning, however, for now, it is the end. Tabcorp UK will now have to pay a whopping £39.5 million to Rupert Murdoch’s News UK to pull out of their agreement.
Investigations by the Gambling Commission have revealed that Tabcorp UK Limited has failed to manage the risks that come with offering novelty betting markets. Tabcorp Holdings Limited was also found to be letting around 118 self-excluded customers to open duplicate accounts so they can make the most of promotional events and gamble. Of these 118-self excluded users, a total of 141 duplicate betting accounts were allowed to be created over a ten-month period. This left vulnerable users with zero protection, which is an infringement of any gambling licence issued by the Regulation UK Gambling Commission.
The issues that Tabcorp UK faced when offering novelty betting markets, promotional events and poor security are being fired with a penalty fee of around £84,000.
The chief executive of Tabcorp UK, David Attenborough, explained that “The performance of SunBets has been below expectations and we do not expect a material improvement over the next 18 months. As such, we have reached an agreement with News UK to exit the agreement.
The Tabcorp Saga
Tabcorp UK reported operating losses of £26 million! Tabcorp UK governance put SunBets under strategic review last October after merging with the main Australian rival company, Tatts Group. Tabcorp UK has informed that they have begun collective consultations with the 60 employees working at Sun Bets, in line with the UK employment laws.
This wasn’t the end of the SunBets saga, Tabcorp UK also found themselves at the forefront of a “Pie-gate” scandal. This created a lot of negative publicity for the company. They were fined a penalty of £84,000 by the Gambling Commission for offering odds of 8/1 on the famous bet that the substitute goalkeeper, Wayne Shaw would eat a pie whilst the game was being played. This event did happen and seemed like it was meant to of been a joke more than anything. A joke that backfired as it landed them in serious trouble. This bet happened back in February 2017 against Arsenal in the FA Cup Fifth-round. The goalkeeper was also then fined £375 for his role in this controversial incident by the Football Association.
You would think that Tabcorp UK was already in enough trouble and would acknowledge that this would be a big mistake, but no, they went even further with it! Tabcorp UK was also offering bets on whether a streaker would run onto the pitch. This was all meant to be fun and games but in fact, it was taken extremely seriously, offering odds for a streaker on the pitch is a potential inducement to committing a criminal offence. They then promised to improve their risk assessment process to ensure they know the full consequences of their bets.
Even from the beginning, SunBets faced struggles in the UK market with gaining customers and branching out, so it was always going to be a bumpy ride for them. SunBets have not been the most liked betting site/bookmaker in the industry with a lot of customers slating them and giving them poor reviews, complaining about their poor customer service and support.
UK Gambling Commission
The UK Gambling Commission is a well-known regulatory body – that is based in London – and is even better known for its strict regulations it sets for online betting businesses. With such strict rules in place, gambling firms can not just enter the betting industry left-right and centre. Before they can do this, they have to prove they meet the strict requirements set by the UK Gambling Commission. Since attaining one of these highly sort-after licences is a difficult task, there is more protection in place for vulnerable customers. For example, platforms like sports betting businesses will have to provide a quality customer service feature, as well as a secured payment options department. These are just some of the examples of the regulations that the UK Gambling Commission has in place to ensure businesses are not taking advantage of individuals like bettors and gamers.
Using the Tabcorp UK scandal as an example, the financial penalty that the UK Gambling Commission issued is a typical example of the type of penalty packages that a betting business can face when not meeting the rules in place.
Customers of Sun Bets
Sun Bets have advised their customers on the steps they should make from here in regard to the ending of SunBets. Sun Bets have announced that any funds that customers have in their accounts will remain accessible for a period of time. They are urging customers to log into their Sun Bet account and withdraw their funds immediately from their account before the betting company closes completely.
Punters are probably wondering what might happen if they do not withdraw the funds they currently have in their account. Sun Bet have stated that if you do not withdraw funds by Thursday 2nd August 2018 then they will attempt to return any balances to the card that was entered when signing up to Sun Bets. If Sun Bet are unable to proceed with returning funds to the cardholder, the account owner will be contacted directly. This will go on until Monday 17th September 2018. However, if the account holder is still failed to be contacted past this date, then the funds that are in the account will be donated to GamCare.
Now if you are a customer of Sun Bet and you are worried about what will happen to any issue or complaint that you have already arisen with the company, you will have until October 17th, 2018 to have this outstanding issue solved. If your complaint or issue goes beyond this date, Sun Bets will be unable to deal with it and it will then just be removed. So, if you do currently hold any issues with the company or have any you need to address with them, contact their team.
Sun Bets have been involved in many marketing campaigns over their small lifetime that began in 2016. They sponsored the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with their 3-year deal.
The End of Sun Bets?
Playtech who some gamers may be familiar with have been in talks about possibly taking over Sun Bets instead of killing it off completely. Playtech already operates the Sun Bingo brand and have made contact with News UK over the possibility. This will be good news for their customer base of over 300,000 users who may want to carry on using Sun Bets, however, due to their poor brand image, it might be for the best if they did cease to exist anymore. If Playtech manages to successfully take over Sun Bets then you can count on many improvements being made to various parts of the platform. This includes the sports market selection, modern payment options, price boost deals and in general of quality gambling products.