Posted on: July 7, 2022, 11:41h.
Last updated on: July 7, 2022, 11:41h.
The UK is in turmoil as Prime Minister Boris Johnson steps down and the gambling white paper won’t likely come soon. However, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) isn’t slowing down, and has temporarily pulled the gaming license of online operator Bet-at-home.com for not playing by the rules.
The UKGC suspended the operator’s license as it carries out a review under Section 116 of the Gambling Act 2005. The revision and subsequent suspension arise from concern that the activities the operator conducted violated the law and were not in accordance with the terms of their license. Therefore, the regulator determined that Bet-at-home is unfit to serve as a legitimate operator.
Alleged social responsibility and anti-money laundering shortcomings were “key considerations” in the decision to suspend the license. Therefore, in accordance with section 118 of the Act, which governs suspensions, the UKGC took action. Accordingly, the suspension takes effect immediately.
Players Should Withdraw Funds
Although the platform can no longer operate legally in the UK, players’ funds are protected, for now. Bet-at-home.com Internet Limited, which operates bet-at-home.com, bet-at-home.co.uk and uk.bet-at-home.com, has to allow players to access their accounts and make withdrawals.
Bet-at-home knew this day was coming. It suspended its affiliate program in the UK earlier this week, eliminating its single marketing channel there.
However, according to Head of Marketing Alessandro Manzella, the platform has no intention of exiting the UK market. He made the comment to iGaming Business before the announcement of the suspension, but hasn’t indicated if the platform will now reconsider.
The UKGC didn’t provide specific details about the reasons for the suspension. However, it added that it will continue to conduct its review. This could lead to a permanent revocation of the license or fines for its violations.
Bet-at-home Has a Rough 12 Months
The past year has been particularly hard on the online gaming platform. Last October, it exited the Austrian market for operating there without a license. Players filed a lawsuit seeking reimbursement for their losses, which Bet-at-home said could cost it as much as 40% of the profit from those losses.
The platform initially tried to stay in the market, arguing that Casinos Austria had an “illegal monopoly.” However, failing to play by the rules, even if they’re wrong, seldom produces the desired results. Kindred learned that recently in Norway.
Later, a similar scenario emerged in Switzerland. The company sued the Swiss Federal Gaming Board in an attempt to gain access as a foreign operator, but a court tossed the suit.
Bet-at-home has also experienced trouble in the Dutch and German markets. As a result of the continued issues, its first-quarter revenue saw a year-on-year decline of 54.1%. It was just €14.0 million (US$15 million), and will certainly drop even more with the suspension of its UK license.