The last twelve months have been turbulent for the online gambling industry, and amongst the new game and product launches, the new casinos, licensing changes, and so much more, we’ve seen several online casinos leave the UK market. As the year comes to an end, we thought we’d take a look at some of the casinos we’ve lost and what happened along the way.
One of the biggest shocks of 2021 was when the UK Gambling Commission suspended BGO Entertainment Limited’s operating license in October 2021. At the time, the UK Gambling Commission revealed it had suspended its license as it believed that BGO Entertainment Limited had not been acting in accordance with the conditions of its license and was unsuitable to continue with its licensed activities.
Around a week later, the UK Gambling Commission provided an update informing the public that BGO Entertainment Limited had surrendered its UK license on October 22nd, effectively closing its BGO Casino, Power Spins, 7Casino, Chilli Casino, and Vegas Luck Casino brands.
Grace Media Casinos
Nektan UK Limited was a prominent online casino operator that owned and operated several popular UK casino brands. However, Nektan’s UK-facing business was sold to Grace Media Limited, and all Nektan casino brands in April 2021 switched licenses to Grace Media.
Since then, several of Nektan casino’s brands have closed, including the popular Kerching, The Sun Play, and Monster Casinos, some of which only closed this month! Meanwhile, Nektan had its UK license suspended in April 2021 for reportedly breaching the conditions of its license and for being unsuitable to continue with its licensed activities.
Stakers is an online gambling website that had its betting license suspended in March 2020 over several compliance issues. The Commission believed that Stakers had breached a condition of its license and was unsuitable to continue offering its licensed activities in the United Kingdom.
The operator decided to appeal the suspension and fine, but it was dismissed by a First-Tier Tribunal. In May 2021, the operator announced it was surrendering its license and withdrawing from the UK gambling market, with the operator’s solicitor Richard Williams saying the company would prefer to cease operating rather than pay the penalty.
BetIndex is a gambling operator that was at the forefront of a big controversy this year with its Football Index website, which allows customers to purchase “shares” in football players and earn dividends on their performance. The website fell into administration in March 2021 after the UK Gambling Commission suspended its operating license over the concern that it was not suitable to continue offering its licensed activities.
Around the same time, Football Index lost its Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) membership and sponsorships with the Queen’s Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest football clubs. The Commission’s handling of Football Index has led a Parliamentary Group to launch an inquiry into the organisation and the UKGC itself to rethink its investigational procedures.
Alternatives To Closed Casinos
Above are just some of the online casino and betting websites that closed this year. If you were thinking about registering with any of these brands prior to discovering their closure or had been members, it’s a good idea to look for alternative online casinos that are still licensed and available in the United Kingdom.
You can check our casino reviews here at Smartphonecasinos.co.uk for a list of online casinos still available in the United Kingdom that are completely safe for you to play. Regardless of which casino you select, we’re confident that you’ll find a casino that meets your requirements and is fun to play at.