Another Week Gone by, Another License Suspended by the Gambling Commission
March 10th, 2020 3.00pm
The UK Gambling Commission, the country’s gambling regulator, has recently changed its approach when it comes to dealing with those operators that violate the gambling regulations. Instead of imposing hefty financial penalties, which had been a common practice over the year, the Commission has turned to a much stricter solution – suspending licenses held by these gambling companies.
The latest such move occurred last week when the Gambling Commission revealed that the Maltese operator Stakers had lost its license. The decision to revoke the company’s license was made after an inquiry revealed the operator had breached the country’s gambling regulations.
Stakers’ license was officially suspended on March 4.
A Thorough Investigation to Follow
In an announcement posted following this decision, the Gambling Commission stated that Stakers had been fined due to several compliance issues, and pointed out the suspension would remain in effect until a thorough investigation of the company’s UK operation was completed.
The renowned online casino and sports betting operator also holds a license issued by the Malta Gaming Authority.
In practice, the Commission’s decision means Stakers will not be able to offer its services to customers in the UK. According to available information, the operator has been informed by the Commission to advise its players not to make any bets using the stakers.com website. It will also allow its customers to access their accounts and withdraw their funds if they choose to do so.
The latest news comes only a couple of weeks after the Commission suspended the license of Addison Global Limited and its gambling brand MoPlay. But that was only the start of the problems for the renowned operator, as just a couple of days later it announced it wasn’t able to process. its customers’ withdrawals and declared insolvency. A vast majority of MoPlay customers weren’t able to withdraw their funds. It was later discovered that MoPlay owed money to two Premier League sides, Manchester United and Watford. The former has even filed a lawsuit, seeking £12 million in unpaid funds.
Why Was Stakers’ License Revoked?
The Gambling Commission didn’t provide detailed information on Stakers’ violations, although it did say the company’s license was suspended in accordance with Section 116 of the Gambling Act. The violations of the Act represented a breach of the operator’s license condition, thus making it impossible to continue with any further activity in the UK.
Section 116 of the Gambling Act stipulates that the country’s gambling regulator can investigate the activities of an operator with a UK license if it suspects that the operator’s activities are not conducted under the conditions of its license.
The same section also indicates other circumstances when the Commission can ask for a review of activities conducted by any UK-licensed operator.
Another operator, in addition to MoPlay and Stakers, to have been penalized by the Gambling Commission is Mr Green, although its fine is a financial one. Last month, Mr Green was issued a hefty fine of £3 million due to failure to meet social responsibility and anti-money laundering standards enforced by the Commission. The operator was bought by William Hill last year, in a transaction worth £242 million.
Millions in Sanctions Issued Since 2014
According to available information, the country’s regulator has issued nearly £60 million in financial penalties since 2014.
This information was made available through a freedom of information request submitted by the organization representing all members of the UK gambling industry, the Gambling Business Group
During the period from June 2014 to December 2019, the Commission issued a total of £58,946,578 in various fines.
UKGC revokes online gaming licence issued to Stakers.