Jetbull Closed: What Happened?
Compared to many bookmakers that have shut their online doors, Jetbull enjoyed a decent run at things, surviving a lot longer than most. In fact, they were operating online for around 13 years, which is a very respectable effort given how much competition there is in the market. Still, despite being around for a considerable amount of time, Jetbull was not a name that ever really pierced into the mainstream, meaning their exit was a relatively quiet one.
Jetbull first appeared online in 2007 as the flagship business-to-consumer (B2C) operation of EveryMatrix Ltd. EveryMatrix themselves are primarily known for being a business-to-business (B2B) company that delivers iGaming software, content and solutions. At the time, they were only starting up but today EveryMatrix are a highly respected brand in the industry, boasting over 700 employees and over 80 clients.
Given how well the B2B side of the business has gone and the expertise within the company, you may be a little surprised that Jetbull failed at all. As you will soon find out though, EveryMatrix only supplied software for Jetbull at the time of its demise, rather than owning the brand too, as they had done previously. How much blame can be placed on the new owners it is hard to say but either way, Jetbull did not stick around for too long following the changeover.
For much of Jetbull’s time, and certainly in the early years, it was a brand with a steadily growing customer base and one free of any controversy. Fast forward to 2019 though and this is when news breaks of purchases, suspensions and closures.
In September 2019, the Gambling Commission suspended EveryMatrix’s B2C licence (their B2B licences, the core of their business, remained untouched however). This not only impacted Jetbull but every other EveryMatrix site they ran at the time, these being Bookee, sportingindex casino, fantasino, westcasino, playfrank, pwr.bet, mr win and draganaraonline. The suspension, details of which were publicly released on 5th September, took effect immediately. Impacted customers were told to contact EveryMatrix with any queries they had.
The licence suspension did not force Jetbull and other brands to close completely but it did prevent them from accepting new bets or taking any more deposits. Instead, they could only focus on settling ante-post bets and facilitating withdrawals.
As for the reason why the Gambling Commission took swift and harsh action against EveryMatrix, the official reasons were concerns of their “customer interaction framework”. In more understandable terms, there were problems with how EveryMatrix were dealing with their customers, particularly those with a gambling addiction. With this being a high priority for the government and the Gambling Commission, it is no real surprise that the UKGC acted so swiftly.
If EveryMatrix were just an unknown company that nobody had ever heard of, they might have been able to recover given the reduced scrutiny they faced. Likewise, had they been given a fine and a slap on the wrist, maybe survival would have been possible. As it was though, this was a very reputable B2B operator given a very serious punishment for their regulatory failings. Such punishments are relatively rare, even more so when you are talking about a recognisable name that deals with many other bookmakers and casinos.
Although it is possible to appeal against such decisions, EveryMatrix decided against it, stating that their reputation as a B2C provider had been “irreparably damaged”.
A Different Approach
While the actions of the Gambling Commission may have factored into EveryMatrix’s decision to withdraw from B2C operations, really it only helped confirm a decision they had already made. In May 2019, CEO Ebbe Groes had already stated the company’s plan was to “focus exclusively on our role as a software service supplier.”
They were in the process of finding a buyer for JetBull prior to the loss of their licence and ended up agreeing a deal with AMGO iGaming AB for a sizeable €2m fee, with the changeover officially happening on 1st July. A stipulation of the deal was that Swedish company AMGO continued to use EveryMatrix software.
The €2m deal included a €1m cash payment and €1m in newly issued AMGO iGaming AB shares. Both parties seemed very pleased with the deal and they knew each other well already, having worked in partnership for several years prior. It may seem like a large amount for a fairly small brand but Jetbull reportedly had 600,000 registered customers, many of which were located in the UK, Denmark, and Romania.
The sale of Jetbull was the biggest individual step away from B2C operations EveryMatrix made but it was not the only one. In December 2019 they announced they were closing all white-label brands in Denmark, this including jetbull.dk, casinohouse.dk and 777.dk.
Jetbull Shuts Down
AMGO’s ownership of Jetbull did not last long as by December 2022, Jetbull customers were informed that the website would be closing within the next two weeks. The withdrawal was swift but giving a fortnight’s notice for players to withdraw funds was largely sufficient. Not every single account would have been empty by the time they shut though. Controversially, in such cases Jetbull retained the money as they stated “any remaining funds will be lost”.
Some customers, if living in an eligible jurisdiction, were informed that the brand was merging with Karma Casino. Others, where this was not a possible alternative, were simply told the brand was shutting with no suggested new site provided.
While writing this piece we noticed that the Jetbull name and branding had returned on a URL named om-bet. They claimed they were open for business, even for customers from the UK, and their registration process is active.
A closer inspection suggested this was a rogue operation though as they claim to be using an EveryMatrix licence, which remains suspended. There were other issues too, such as the fact they appeared to accept credit card payments from UK players, despite this no longer being legal. As it does not seem to be a genuine and legitimate revival of the Jetbull brand, we would strongly recommend you stay clear unless a valid licence appears.