UK-based Ladbrokes has announced their decision to pull their operations from the Canadian market.
I know what you're thinking: something along the lines of "who?" or "so what?"
Ladbrokes agrees with the sentiment, as they explained that they only receive about £200,000 in revenue from Canadian players, which equates to only a fraction of a percent of their overall revenue, as reported by the Financial Times.
The online gambling company offers sports betting, an online casino, and a poker room, but none of these ever found much traction in Canada.
As quoted in the Financial Times, Ladbrokes explained:
"We continually review the markets based on legal advice and Canada is not a material contributor. The vast majority of our business is UK and Ireland, with a focus on Australia, Spain, and Belgium for the future."
Players were issued notice that they had 30 days to withdraw their funds after October 1, and Ladbrokes would no longer accept Canadian bets or deposits from that date.
With new licensing regulations conditions coming into effect for UK-based operators, many gambling sites are making changes to their businesses to stay ahead of their regulatory obligations. The new UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 was set to become active on October 1, but PokerNews UK recently revealed that the new act has been delayed until November 1.
Many online operators have license applications in and waiting for the new act and are carefully trimming any grey-area operations, like Canada, to help their applications slide smoothly through the approval process. Fortunately, this is limited to UK-based operators, which make up a very small segment of the online poker market in Canada.
Another iPoker skin, Titan Poker, flip-flopped late last year when they announced their intention to leave the Canadian market, then retracted that decision, and then silently settled in middle ground without any announcement by permitting existing Canadian players to play on their site but no longer allowing new Canadian player sign-ups.
As for other sites like Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, 888poker, and PKR, their Canadian operations will not be affected by the changes to the UK Gambling Act and continue to be great places for Canadian poker players to enjoy the game online.