Bet365, and payments processing firm Paysafe, came under-fire from a dubiously motivated source who claims they have operated illegally in China.
[dropcap]B[/dropcap]et365 and Paysafe have both categorically denied accusations that they were operating illegally in China – accusations made by a US firm with admittedly questionable motives.
The statements came in response to publicised allegations by the US firm Spotlight Research who claimed Bet365 was “operating a business that appears to facilitate and engage in illegal gambling.”
Mirroring its position in Romania last year, Bet365 does not deny accepting bets from Chinese players, but argues that there is “no legislation which expressly prohibits the supply of remote gambling services into China by operators who are based outside China.”
“Bet365 has no people, assets or infrastructure in China and does not engage any agents, aggregators or intermediaries, for any purpose, in China,” the UK brand went on. “In the view of Bet365, and its lawyers, Chinese law does not extend to the provision of services into China by gambling operators and service providers who themselves have no nexus with the territory.
“Accordingly, Bet365 considers Spotlight Research’s analysis of the relevant legislation and statements surrounding the alleged illegality of the provision of remote gambling services into China remotely to be self-serving, misleading and inaccurate.”
The “self-serving” counter-strike could yet be borne out. Payment processing firm Paysafe has also been implicated in the Spotlight report, which states the company “appears to be enabling both illegal gambling and Chinese capital control evasion through alleged undisclosed related parties run by recent former executives.”
Bet365 is Paysafe’s biggest customer; the online betting outfit’s customer transactions represent around half its business through Neteller, Skrill and the Income Access digital payment brands.
Spotlight itself disclosed a potential short term interest in the damage its publication might do to Paysafe’s share price by opening up opportunities for short-selling. The damage was not insignificant, the day of the release it’s stock fell by one third.
Paysafe responded immediately noting Spotlight’s potential gains: “All material information in the report is either factually inaccurate or has been previously disclosed,” said the LSE-listed firm in an official statement.
“Paysafe has a history of significant, transparent disclosure to the market, publishing two prospectuses in 2015 and being subject to substantial additional scrutiny through a full UKLA listing process as part of its move to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange,”