In what appears to have been an oversight, the UK online sportsbook Sportingbet is alleged to have continued to take Irish betting action after the August 1st introduction of new legislation requiring it to be licensed in the Republic.
Sportingbet has around 20,000 legacy Irish players on its books, although it is understood that the current issue involves less than 200 of these.
The Irish media pounced on the error, claiming that the bets accepted by the UK company since the introduction of the new law were unlawful because Sportingbet was not licensed under the new regime.
A representative for Sportingbet told The Irish Post that the company had since been made aware of the problem.
“We have been made aware of a situation in our Irish operations and we are looking into the matter,” he said. “Our early understanding is that a handful of Irish customers were affected. We are honouring all bets made since 1 August as is our tradition.”
Sportingbet has additionally contacted all of the Irish customers affected to notify them of the issue, advising in an email:
“As a result of regulatory changes we will no longer be able to offer our Sports betting and Virtual Sports services to Irish customers.
“Any non-settled bets will be voided and the funds returned to your Sportingbet account.”
The company also advised that players successful in their bets in the three-week period will be allowed to retain their winnings.
Back in late 2012 Sportingbet was sold to GVC Holdings plc and William Hill plc in a GBP 530 million deal which split the company into Australian and Spanish operations (taken by William Hill) and other operations, including the Irish business, acquired by GVC .
The deal has been good for GVC, which has reported on several occasions since that its profits have been significantly enhanced by the addition of Sportingbet to its group.