The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has suspended the licence of Tipster Limited following the revocation of the operator’s sports betting licence by the German regulator (GGL) last month.

Tipster attracted significant attention in April when it became the target of a large-scale police raid as part of a global investigation into illegal gambling, money laundering and tax evasion.

Initially, Tipster held licences to operate in both Germany and Malta.

In April, the MGA stated that Tipster’s Malta licence was inactive because the company was solely operating under its German licence.

Furthermore, the MGA indicated that the group had already started the process of surrendering its MGA licence prior to the investigation.

As a consequence of the licence suspension, effective 27 June, the beleaguered business is no longer authorised to conduct any gaming operations.

However, the company must grant all registered players access to their player accounts and refund all monies owed to players.

Tipster still has the option to appeal the decision.

Tipster is a major brick-and-mortar betting operator in Germany, with several hundred shops operating throughout the country.

The entire group, including franchise-operated shops, employs approximately 1,000 people.

Last month, Tipster announced it was undergoing a significant restructuring effort and actively seeking new investors after initiating insolvency proceedings in Germany.

In Germany, the insolvency process offers specific restructuring options that are not available outside of insolvency.

These options include the early termination of unfavourable contracts with suppliers and shorter notice periods for terminating employees.

With Curaçao determined to clean up its image as an offshore gambling hub, a legal battle over the alleged bankruptcy of 1xBet is making waves.

1xBet has never been far from controversy and has a history of legal issues.

Accusations range from offering a pornography-themed casino and taking bets on children’s sports and cockfighting in the UK in 2019, to more recent claims that the Russian-linked business tried to extract data from Ukrainians during the war after being a granted a licence in the country, a decision which was later reversed.

The Sunday Times, which revealed questionable practices by the company in the UK back in 2019, reported that the operator was “on the radar” of law enforcement agencies across the world.

For many years, 1xBet and its parent company 1XCorp, which is headquartered in Cyprus, have been operating under the master licence of Curaçao e-Gaming (CEG).

However, in November 2021, 1XCorp was declared bankrupt in a court in Curaçao.

The case was lodged in August 2021 by the Foundation for the Representation of Victims of Online Gaming (SBGOK), an organisation which represents gamblers who claim they have been defrauded by operators licensed in Curaçao.

The player advocacy group claimed that 1xBet’s parent company 1XCorp refused to pay out winnings to customers and owed unpaid taxes in Curaçao.

While the court initially ruled in favour of SGBOK and declared 1XCorp bankrupt, 1XCorp successfully contested the legality of SGBOK as player representative and creditor to 1XCorp. A second judgement overturned the initial ruling.

It was then SGBOK’s turn to appeal the decision, and the advocacy group won the case in May 2022. 1xCorp was declared bankrupt again. However, in June, 1XCorp appealed again.

Last week (25 November), Curaçao’s Attorney General advised the Supreme Court to officially declare 1xBet’s bankruptcy.

While the Supreme Court has yet to rule, both local media and reported that it generally follows the advice of the Attorney General.

1xBet was founded in 2007. In 2019, the firm briefly sponsored Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC before having to close down its operations in the UK following the Sunday Times investigation.

Moreover, in August 2022, 1xBet secured a sponsorship agreement with football club Paris Saint-Germain and became the club’s official regional partner in Africa and Asia, despite the bookmaker’s controversial past.

Investors in Scout Gaming Group (SGG) are jumping ship after the company’s board called an extraordinary general meeting in order to attract new capital and avoid bankruptcy.

The Stockholm-listed B2B fantasy sports and betting supplier has had a tough year; its share price has fallen by more than 93% in the last 12 months.

On Monday (1 August), shares plummeted 17.4% and finished trading at SEK2.12 (€0.20), after the company announced an extraordinary general meeting scheduled on 1 September, intended to give investors the opportunity to vote on a rights issue worth SEK101m (€9.72m).

The fresh capital is needed to fund a comprehensive restructuring programme and keep SGG going, as the business does not have sufficient cash reserves to survive the next year.

In order to obtain additional cash to fund the struggling business, SGG envisages a rights issue of 202,680,423 shares, with preferential rights for the company’s existing shareholders, at a subscription price of SEK0.50 (€0.048).

Existing shareholders will receive one subscription right for each share already held. Each subscription right entitles the holder to subscribe for nine new shares in the company.

The rights issue could see the business increase its share capital by a maximum of SEK10.7m, and its number of shares by up to 202.7m, corresponding to a dilution of approximately 90% of the total number of shares and votes in the company.

The issue is fully guaranteed through subscription undertakings of SEK46m (€4.4m) and underwriting undertakings of approximately SEK55m (€5.3m), which have been entered into by the existing shareholders Topline Capital Partners LP, Scobie Ward, Novobis AB, Knutsson Holdings AB and Erlinghundra AB.

In June 2022, the financially distressed company set out on an extensive reorganisation and transformation exercise, which included reducing the number of employees and employed consultants.

SGG also created a new management team focused on finance, sales and product.

Scout Gaming Group: “The change is intended to create a better functioning organisation that is more cost-effective and fast-paced to serve the company’s existing customers and partners to a higher degree.”

In June, CEO Andreas Ternström stepped down after six years at the helm of the organisation, as chief financial officer Niklas Jönsson became acting CEO.

SGG said of its restructuring programme: “The change is intended to create a better functioning organisation that is more cost-effective and fast-paced to serve the company’s existing customers and partners to a higher degree.”

SGG expects to save approximately SEK32m (€3.1m) per year as a result of the restructuring.

The company’s longer term ambition is to increase the number of new B2B contracts while increasing its engagement with existing customers particularly in the European market in order to increase its revenue and achieve profitability over the next 12 months.

“The restructuring will help the company to achieve these objectives,” SGG said.

However, SGG’s board of directors said that the company’s “existing working capital is not sufficient to meet the company’s needs for the next 12-month period.

“For this reason, the company convenes the extraordinary general meeting in order to carry out the rights issue and to strengthen the financial position of the company in order to implement the company’s business plan and strategy,” the board added.

SGG expects to spend 15% of the fresh capital on increased sales and marketing activities. A further 35% is earmarked to cover operating expenses, variable and fixed costs, while 10% will be used to further develop SGG’s product offering. Around 40% is allocated to offset or repay previous bridge financing.