As much a shocking realisation as it may be for many online casino goers, Royal Panda casino withdrew from the UK market on the 31st of January. Praised for its numerous promotions and a massive game selection, the award-winning casino brand stopped receiving new UK customers as early as January 8th, allowing existing users to take advantage of their accounts until the month’s end.
Farewell to all Loyal Pandas
The sad announcement was published on the casino’s website, starting with the following: “We regret to inform you that Royal Panda will no longer be operating in the UK from 31 January 2020. We’ve had a great time entertaining you over the years and wish to thank you very much for choosing to play with us.”
Apparently, all activities covered under our UK license ended on 31st of January at 9 am GMT. From the 20th, UK members were able to withdraw £1 or more from their soon to be unavailable accounts.
The brand which will surely be missed among the Brits said farewell to its loyal pandas wishing them success in the future and enticing them to continue playing at Leo Vegas, which belongs to the same Leo Vegas Group as Royal Panda.
While it may be pointless to speculate, the cost of regulatory compliance in the UK may be one of the reasons why Royal Panda decided to exit the highly competitive European casino market.
Three years ago, the UK accounted for nearly half of Royal Panda’s revenue. However, the casino had poorer performance during the last year’s quarter in the UK-oriented business. Some sources hold Brexit, tax changes and increased regulation responsible for brands such as Royal Panda wanting to leave the market. The point of consumption tax, introduced in 2014, was increased from 15% to 21% for online gambling in 2019. A report from an All-Party Parliamentary Group released in November 2019 called for the online gambling industry to be forced to follow the same £2 maximum stake for slot machines in online casinos that was already imposed on bookmakers.
Slotty Vegas left the UK market weeks before Royal Panda and its operator, MaxEnt Limited, was transparent about making the decision over concerns of Brexit. Not everything is as gloomy as it sounds, though, as the company never ruled out the possibility to come back to the UK sometime in the future.
Is Leo Vegas the Best Alternative?
Royal Panda was acquired by the Leo Vegas Group in 2017, becoming a sister site to Leo Vegas online and mobile casino. Thousands of internet gamblers have pledged allegiance to the Stockholm-based site, but in the UK Royal Panda was always the stronger, more stable brand. This is now likely to change as Leo Vegas is looking to increase their UK base with all the Royal Panda customers being redirected to the lion’s kingdom. There are some gambling websites that could compete with Leo Vegas in panda’s absence – like Bet365 being the real king, Slots Magic and Spinit, to name a few.
Feel free to visit our special UK casino section, for the best alternatives with fast payouts, that our readers love!