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bet365, Unibet Banished from Eastern Europe
- May 3, 2016 By Nemanja L. -
World-famous gaming operators bet365 and Unibet have suffered major setbacks in their efforts to cater for the Eastern European market and offer their services to sports bettors in Bulgaria and Lithuania respectively.
The UK gaming company had been awarded an online gaming licence in Bulgaria back in August 2015, but the State Commission on Gambling (SCG) later decided to revoke said licence.
At the time, SCG revealed that they had found bet365 to have failed to comply to Bulgarian gambling laws, but the sports betting operator does not share their opinion and has now decided to launch an official appeal.
The initial appeal was heard in the Administrative Court of Sofia on 28 April, and new hearing has been schedule for 5 May. Apart from confirming they had taken legal action, bet365 refused to comment further on the matter.
Bulgaria’s State Commission on Gambling has so far decided to issue just 15 online licences, and many believe the main reason for this is the favourable stance towards domestic operators.
This is not the first time bet365 has encountered problems in Eastern Europe, with Romania also deciding to revoke their licence despite the fact the company had complied to the new back taxes regulation. The UK gaming operator has appealed against this decision as well.
Lithuania Blacklist and Slam Unibet
The Gaming Control Authority of Lithuania (GCA) has again decided to blacklist Unibet and also slammed the Swedish gaming operator for their continuous efforts to circumvent gaming laws in the country.
Under the new legal framework passed few months ago, foreign gambling websites are forbidden from offering their services to Lithuanian punters unless they have offices in the country.
At the same time, Internet Service Providers have been ordered to block access to all sites deemed illegal, and the new blacklist has now emerged.
William Hill, Betway and Unibet are some of the big players on the list, with the Swedish operator singled out for special criticism as they continue to change domain names in an attempt to get around the ban. There are currently no fewer than 99 domain names on Lithuania’s blacklist, with ten of those belonging to Unibet.