Royal Panda Casino and Sportsbook Ceases Trading in the UK Market
LeoVegas have announced that casino and sportsbook operator Royal Panda will cease trading in the UK due to continued poor performance. Royal Panda stopped accepting new customers last week and the company state that the website will be closed permanently on the January 31st.
A statement on Royal Panda’s website tells UK visitors about the brand’s withdrawal from the UK market and urges customers to withdraw any funds in their account as soon as possible. The company’s roadmap for closure states that new customers have been barred from joining since the 8th of January and existing customers will not be able to make deposits or place a sports bet from the 20th of January.
The website also states that from the 31st of January, UK players will no longer be able to access their account, place a casino bet and play at Royal Panda. The company have advised players who have not been able to withdraw their funds after the deadline to use the help section on the Royal Panda’s website to contact customer service.
The company have said they will proactively attempt to release funds in any remaining cash balances directly to the payment method on record. If a customer’s financial details are not up to date, for example, an expired debit card, Royal Panda will attempt to contact the customer direct. If attempts fail after 12 months, the operator will donate any remaining balance to the charity BeGambleAware.
Philip Doftvik, director of investor relations and corporate finance at LeoVegas, confirmed the departure of Royal Panda from the UK market. In a statement, Doftvik said the company had decided to concentrate on better-performing brands. He said;
We are focusing on the LeoVegas and other Rocket X-managed brands for the UK market going forward. Those brands are performing better in the UK market, and therefore we want to invest in them rather in Royal Panda.– Philip Doftvik, Royal Panda Director
The company first publicly declared problems with the brand’s performance in the UK market in the operator’s Q3 2019 report. LeoVegas CEO Gustaf Hagman at the time stated that while the UK was profitable for the group, the market remained challenging and highlighted the poor performance of Royal Panda.
Strategic consultancy firm Regulus Partners estimated that Royal Panda’s UK revenues were down 32% year-on-year to 15%, which represented a drop of 12% quarter-on-quarter. At the time Regulus Partners’ Paul Leyland said the company’s decision to cut marketing for the brand could help in the short-term adding, “but the key test for LeoVegas is whether it’s a very strong product and operational capabilities are enough to carry forward the topline in a more stringent cost and regulatory environment.”
LeoVegas purchased the Royal Panda brand in 2017for an initial fee of €60m with an additional €60m earn-out dependent on hitting financial targets. Despite withdrawing from the UK market, Royal Panda will continue operating in Europe.