Gambling operator Matchbook has been given the all-clear to resume its UK operations following its suspension by the UK Gambling Commission earlier this year.
Back in February, Triplebet Ltd, Matchbook’s parent company, had its gambling license suspended by the UK Gambling Commission under Section 116 of the 2005 Gambling Act after the regulatory body became concerned that the company wasn’t adhering to its licensing conditions.
Following its suspension, the Commission revealed that it had launched a two-year investigation into Triplebet and found several serious failings over anti-money laundering procedures, failure to carry out affordability checks, and failing to follow social responsibility procedures too.
One of the failings found by the Commission regarded a player who deposited a large sum of money and withdrew it on the same day without gambling anything, and without any monitoring by Matchbook. A second customer gambled more than £2 million on a single day without any checks by Triplebet.
Earlier this month, the Gambling Commission updated its original notice of Triplebet and Matchbook’s suspension and confirmed that the operator’s license had been reinstated after implementing the required safety measures to meet the Commission’s licensing requirements, the notice reads: “The Commission has lifted the suspension of Triplebet’s license because it has implemented the remedial measures required.”
According to Calvin Ayre, a statement from Triplebet reads: “We are extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of our staff during a very challenging economic period that has enabled Matchbook to once again offer a much-improved exchange platform to UK residents as we continue to grow our market share and deliver an industry-leading platform and liquidity pool for our customers.
“We’re pleased to announced that our license suspension has been lifted and we are working hard to get the site back up and running as soon as possible. We can’t wait to welcome you all back to Matchbook in the coming days.”
As of today (August 17th), Matchbook has completely reopened and is available for customers to wager on sports games.
As reported by iGamingBusiness, the company sought out help from performance improvement consultancy Alvarez and Marsal shortly after the Commission launched its review back in 2018. The consultancy group made a series of recommendations which the company quickly adopted but by the time of its hearing in January, Triplebet had failed to implement all suggestions and lost its gambling license.
Some of the suggestions made by Alvarez and Marsal included the introduction of new policies regarding the fair treatment of customers, the establishment of a compliance committee, the introduction of a new responsible gambling algorithm, and a push towards acquiring GamCARE’s Safer Gambling Standard certification.
Alvarez and Marsal also suggested training regarding anti-money laundering and problem gambling procedures, as well as for daily screenings for staff to recognise players that may be subject to international sanctions or politically exposed people.
Around the time the Commission launched an investigation, then-Matchbook CEO Mark Brosnan resigned and the company was forced to pay over £700,000 in fines over its failure to follow the Commission’s licensing conditions.
The news comes after the UK Gambling Commission suspended Genesis Global Limited’s gambling license under Section 116 of the 2005 Gambling Act and has launched an investigation into the company.
The Commission hasn’t cited any specific compliance issues but under Section 116 can launch an investigation if it suspects that an operator is “unsuitable to carry out licensed activities” or if a person connected to the operator has acquired a criminal conviction.
From July 20th, Genesis Global Limited was no longer allowed to runs its online casino services in the UK and was forced to suspend all activity on its UK-facing casino websites including Vegas Hero, Genesis Casino, Kassu, Pelaa, Sloty, Casino Gods, Casino Planet, Casoola Casino, Casino Cruise, Casino Joy, Spinit, and Spela.
A statement from the UK Gambling Commission last month reads: “We suspect that Genesis Global Limited has breached a condition of the license (Section 116(2)(a) of the Act) and is unsuitable to carry on the licensed activities (Section 116(2)(c)(i) of the Act). We therefore consider it appropriate to suspend the license with immediate effect pending the conclusion of the review.”
Shortly after the news dropped, Genesis Global announced that it was appealing the suspension. In a statement, Genesis claimed that it was the subject of a routine compliance assessment in July and that it had undergone the assessments “without any adverse material findings”.
Genesis also criticised the Commission’s decision to suspend its license, stating that the decision “is not only disproportionate but also inconsistent with UKGC’s previous regulatory enforcement action in regard to other operators.”
The gambling operator also revealed in its statement that it is fully cooperating with the Commission regarding its license review and has provided the regulatory body with an action plan regarding its suspension and what it will do to rectify the issues.
Genesis Global and Triplebet aren’t the only gambling operators to have had their licenses suspended by the UK Gambling Commission in recent months. The regulatory body has been continuously tightening its rules and regulations, leading to numerous fines and suspensions.
In March this year, the Commission suspended Multi Media Entertainment Limited’s gambling license over social responsibility concerns. It’s also suspended Stakers’ betting licenses and Addison Global’s license too.
After Addison Global had its licenses revoked for struggling to pay outstanding debts to affiliates, the company was declared insolvent and completely shut down, including its popular MoPlay.co.uk betting website.
What’s more, Betway was fined £11.6 million by the UK Gambling Commission over multiple failings including high-spending customers and money laundering. Also fined was Mr Green which had to pay out £3 million back in February this year for regulatory failings.
Outside of the UK, Star Casino in Sydney was fined AUD $90,000 by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) in New South Wales for allowing minors to access the gaming floor and gamble. According to reports, a 12-year-old girl was reportedly snuck in by her mother and was allowed to place several bets on poker machines for almost 20 minutes.