It has been announced that all Dragonfish Bingo brands have exited Canada immediately. Whilst Canada has not been a top priority for Dragonfish as a company, brands on the bingo software have focused on Canadian Bingo players. There has been a lot of activity around Dragonfish in the last month.
Reasons for Exiting Canada Bingo Market
The main reason for exiting Canada is the new legislation on April 4 2022, in the Ontario region. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has warned operators that they will face exclusion if they operate on an unlicensed basis after the above date.
As you might know, Dragonfish Bingo is owned and operated by 888Holdings, who have agreed on a deal to sell the bingo network to Broadway Gaming. Until then, 888Holdings has implemented a stringent compliance policy on the Dragonfish bingo network. However, some might say overly cautious, given that the parent company has not followed the same strict compliance settings.
We say this as the UKGC has recently fined them over £9 Million for transgressing many rules. That would be their second fine in a matter of a few years. However, as far as we know, not a single Dragonfish site, bingo or slot site has picked up a fine.
The exiting of the Canadian Bingo and Slots market is another decision that resonates with the cautious compliance approach by the company. In our opinion, it is wise as the United Kingdom is their primary market.
It will be interesting to see what action the new owners of the bingo network will take regarding bingo players outside of the United Kingdom. It does have ramifications for players, as we will discuss next.
What Happens to Canadian Bingo Players
As Ontario was the primary market in Canada, Dragonfish never accepted players from British Columbia and Quebec. It would mean players would have their accounts closed and any funds returned.
Does this mean that Dragonfish will apply for a license to operate in the future? From what we know, that will not be the case. It might all be down to the incoming owners. However, it means less choice of venues for bingo and slot players in the Canadian territory – hopefully for a short time.
This new policy might have the same effect that we currently see in licensed regions where more players go to black market sites that do not follow the rules or regulations. These black market bingo sites also do not offer players the same player safeguards that licensed sites provide players.