The Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) have announced they have terminated contracts with all white labels for the UK market. This includes ShadowBet, MetalCasino, OneTimePoker, Cashimo, CasinoCalzone, Dunder and Wishmaker. The move follows GIG shutting down its gaming studio in the autumn of 2019 at the same time offloading Highroller Casino to Ellmount Gaming. This was followed by the decision to sell their business to customer side of things to Betsson early 2020.
If you are a player in the UK and you have an account with any of the white labels listed above then you will no longer be able to continue playing. The company is solvent, this is simply a business decision, so all funds are safe and you will still be able to withdraw but you will be prevented from depositing and betting.
Many of the current white labels have notified users that they intend to apply for their own UK Gambling Commission licence to continue operating but this may be a lengthy process.
What Are White Labels?
Many casinos and betting sites these days use third party companies to run their products. These third party companies, such as GIG, provide the gambling license, payment processing, protection of customer funds, games, interface and compliance procedures to brands in exchange for a fixed fee or revenue share. The brand itself is simply responsible for marketing. This is one of the easiest ways to set up a site and is the most common choice for new brands these days.
Being a white label has many benefits for brands, it allows them to set up quicker as there is no need to apply for their own license. The white label provider also handles all of the payments and the games licenses meaning companies save costs in the initial set-up phase.
Many people are unaware they are even playing with a white label. The information is available by checking who holds the gambling license for a brand – although few people check this.
For the customer white labels can be safer as they are backed by a larger company less likely to fail, however, at the same time they are also at the mercy of the license holder. In this case GIG have made the decision to terminate contracts for white labels in the UK, which overnight means those brands have to shut down in the market with little say about it.
Why Have GIG Cancelled Contracts?
GIG have been undergoing somewhat of a drawn out restructuring process over the last year. This started with them first of all shutting down their game studio to save costs last year. Following this the group decided to divest themselves of one of their own brands, Highroller casino, to Ellmount gaming on the pretense that they wanted to focus on their core brands.
Strangely therefore they then sold off their business to customer services to Betsson early this year, meaning core brands Thrills, Guts, Rizk and Kaboo are no longer managed by the company but they still provide the business services for these sites, such as the platform, media and data.
The main service GIG now offer are business to business services. They in effect have taken the decision they no longer want to directly run websites anymore and within that have decided they no longer want to offer business services to UK white labels. This is likely linked to the higher regulation and tax now in the UK compared to other markets.
What Is The Future For GIG Brands?
GIG have been at somewhat cross-purposes over the last few years with the company making games, owning brands and offering white label and iGaming business services. It seems in the last year they have decided to refine their business model and focus almost entirely on providing services rather than running websites.
The decision to pull services in the UK is more linked to the climate in the country at present rather than GIG not wanting to provide white labels any more and they will continue to provide these services in other markets.
The existing white labels brands under the current GIG license will no longer be able to operate in the UK, but can do so in other jurisdictions. Some of these brands may now try to obtain their own UK license to operate but will remain closed for the short term at least.