The Gambling Commision of Great Britain (UKGC) has placed BGO Entertainment under license review with a suspension of remote gaming activities in effect immediately under Section 116 of the 2005 Gambling Act.
The regulatory compliance action was announced on the Gambling Commission’s website without many specific public allegations, but consumer protection was stated as a critical contributor to the decision.
The Commission stated: “The review and consequent suspension follows concerns that activities may have been carried out contrary to the Act, not in accordance with conditions of their licence and that the Licensee may be unsuitable to carry on the licensed activities. Failing to protect consumers was a key consideration in the suspension decision.”
The Information notice stated that consumers should still have access to their accounts in order to withdraw funds as the license suspension does not preclude that.
Alderney Licensed Site Still Operational
Upon visiting the UK-licensed sites, players will find a note explaining that no deposits are being accepted but withdrawals are still functional. For those not in the UK, the operators suggest visiting 7Casino which operates under BGO’s Alderney license.
The Gambling Commission notice also mentioned that they have conveyed to BGO that they expect the company to focus on keeping customers fully informed of any developments that could affect them and to focus on treating customers fairly.
No terms or conditions of the suspension were noted, and the Gambling Commission didn’t state whether the current suspension was related to a previous regulatory settlement with BGO in October 2020.
Settlements can take place when an operator has been transparent with the Commission during an investigation. The license holder must also suggest actions they will take to remedy any discrepancies in order to assure regulators that more formal action will not be needed.
That settlement came about after an investigation into problem gambling policies and procedures that were not deemed effective in protecting potential problem gamblers between September 25, 2018 and March 23, 2020. As well as a failure to have effective and functional anti-money laundering controls operative from September 25, 2018 to July 21, 2020.
In reaching the settlement, BGO Entertainment LTD acknowledged that policies in effect during those time periods were not effective. It also agreed to Payment in lieu of financial penalty (£2,000,000), a public statement, and a variation to apply conditions to their licence as well a payment of £31,023.87 towards the Commission’s investigative costs
The variation to apply new conditions on their license in late 2020 included enhanced due diligence on their top 125 high-value customers as determined by deposits as well as the top 125 top customers as determined by the amount the players lost.
BGO was aslo fined by the UKGC in 2017 for deceptive advertising.
The information notice did not mention a time table for any updates or if BGO had appealed the suspension.
Source: Information notice: Suspension of licence – BGO Entertainment Limited, UK Gambling Commission, October 15, 2021