Mansion Poker, along with its accompanying casino and sports book, will leave the regulated UK market on September 15th, the first operator to reject the country’s new gambling legislation and introduction of a point-of-consumption tax. Therefore, it is strongly advised that all UK players with Mansion accounts withdraw their funds immediately.
The following message appeared in Mansion players’ inboxes this week: “Due to changing regulations regarding online gaming in the United Kingdom, we must inform you that Mansion Poker is required to close its doors to UK players on September 15th, 2014. As a result, we kindly request that you withdraw any and all funds you have in your Mansion Poker account.”
The message also recommends that existing Mansion players should sign up to TitanBet Poker, which is the largest site on the same network as Mansion, the iPoker Network. TitanBet is operated by Playtech, which owns iPoker. The message states that players making the transition will receive a very generous first deposit bonus and will be able to safeguard their Mansion Poker player points and VIP level.
“We have found an exceptional gaming alternative for you: Titanbet.co.uk,” the message said. “You are invited to join this new reliable and secure brand for continued online poker enjoyment. You will receive a 200% First Deposit Bonus up to Â£1,200 on your first deposit at Titanbet Poker. After you have created your account, please contact Titanbet Poker support. The new room will match your Points and VIP level from Mansion Poker so that you can get a head start in your poker play.”
The UK’s new gambling legislation kicks in this month. The upshot is that online gambling companies that wish to operate in the UK market will now be taxed and regulated at the point of consumption, rather than the country of origin. Up until now, operators were permitted to be licensed in one of a number of gambling jurisdictions that had been approved by the UK government, such as Gibraltar, where Mansion is based and licensed. But under the new laws, an operator must hold a UK gambling license and pay a tax of 15 percent of gross profits, significantly higher than many of the white-listed jurisdictions.
The UK market is highly lucrative, and most major online gambling operators are expected to stay, but for some, such as Mansion, it may simply not be worth it. Mansion flirted with the UK several years ago when it was the main sponsor of Premiership soccer team Tottenham Hotspur, but it failed to crack the market in a significant way, and the large part of its customer base has always been based in mainland Europe.
Mansion, therefore, is the first of a wave of European-facing operators to reject the new regime. Expect more in the coming weeks; we will keep you up-to-date.