Already embroiled in a scandal over allegations that it had attempted to bribe Japanese lawmakers and Chinese online sports lottery provider 500.com is now reportedly facing bad news concerning its Swedish iGaming license.
According to a Thursday report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Shenzhen-headquartered firm has been forced to temporarily suspended operations in Scandinavia’s largest and most lucrative online gambling market after its The Multi Group (TMG) subsidiary failed to renew its Swedish iGaming license before the conclusion of a December 31 deadline.
Inside Asian Gaming reported that this short-term hold-up could now prove costly as Malta-based TMG is known to have brought in 99.1% of 500.com’s overall third-quarter revenues with some 61.3% of these originating from its operations in Sweden.
However, New York-listed 500.com reportedly hoped to counter any long-term concerns by using a Wednesday filing to declare that it is ‘currently in close communication with Sweden’s iGaming regulatory authority’ and intends to have recommenced regular operations by the middle of February.
Reportedly read the filing from 500.com…
“The company expects that revenues from TMG during the first quarter of 2020 will be materially and adversely impacted by the temporary suspension of operations in Sweden.”
500.com was reportedly implicated late last month over allegations that it had spent approximately ¥8 million ($74,000) on bribing up to six members of Japan’s House of Representatives in hopes of being given permission to bring a land-based integrated casino resort to the islands of Hokkaido or Okinawa. The firm purportedly later accepted the resignation of its Chairman, Xudong Chen, while its Chief Executive Officer, Zhengming Pan, subsequently proclaimed that he would be temporarily standing down ‘in order to ensure a thorough and fair investigation’ into the matter could be conducted.