Embroiled In Japan’s Casino Bribery Scandal, 500.com Has To Suspend Swedish Operations

Embroiled In Japan’s Casino Bribery Scandal, 500.com Has To Suspend Swedish Operations

500.com which was allegedly looking for strategic benefits in the race for a casino license in Japan is struggling in Sweden. The casino operator which is facing allegations of bribing Japanese lawmakers in lieu of favors in the country’s casino licensing process is facing temporary shut down in Sweden.

According to the reports, the company’s Swedish igaming license is under threat. A Thursday report from Inside Asian Gaming claims that the Nasdaq-listed Chinese gambling operator has been forced to shut operation in Sweden. However, the report claims that it is temporary.

500.com subsidiary The Multi Group (TMG) has reportedly failed to get its Swedish online gambling license renewed before the deadline. The deadline to get the license renewed was December 31.

The suspension of Swedish operations can cost dearly to the Chinese gambling operator. According to the IaG report, the Swedish subsidiary chipped in over 99 percent of the gambling operator’s revenue for the third quarter of 2019. It also says that about 61 percent of the revenues came from the company’s operations in Sweden.

500.com has said that it is in talks with the Swedish gambling regulators and that it would sort the issues leading to a temporary suspension of operations.

In a filing on Wednesday, the company said: “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.”

Earlier on Christmas day, the Japanese authorities arrested Japanese lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto over charges of taking bribes from the Chinese gambling operator 500.com. Akimoto was deputy minister in charge of overseeing the country’s casino policy.

Japan is poised to launch three integrated casino resorts in the first phase of Japan’s massive gambling expansion plan.

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