UKGC suspend Bet-at-Home Licence

Bet-at-Home have had their licence to operate in the UK suspended as from July 7. The decision was taken by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)

The suspension will remain in place while the UKGC carry out a review of Bet-at-Home. An interesting week for the online betting site had already seen them suspend their GB Affiliate programme. That was the only marketing channel that Bet-at-Home had in the UK.

However, July 6 saw their head of marketing Alessandro Manzella state they were not going to be exiting the GB market.

Then came the news that the UKGC had decided to suspend their operating licence granted to Bet-at-Home. The Commission said that the decision had been made because there may have been activities carried out that were contrary to the 2005 Gambling Act.

It was added that these activities might not have been covered by the licence they held. It may therefore make them unsuitable to hold a licence with them. Suspected social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings are among the key factors as to why the Bet-at-Home licence has been suspended.

The UKGC have been becoming increasingly stricter in recent months. Huge fines have been issued, including one of £9.15 million to 888. Areas such as anti-money laundering failings and the way in which customers with gambling problems are dealt are always high on the list of any review of how licence holders are behaving.

Now a review of the Bet-at-Home business will take place. This will be carried out under section 116 of the 2005 Gambling Act.

In a statement about the suspension, the UKGC said: “We have made it clear to the operator that during the course of the suspension, we expect it to focus on treating consumers fairly and keeping them fully informed of any developments which impact them.”

They added that during this suspension, customers will still be able to access their Bet-at-Home accounts and make withdrawals.

It’s already been a difficult year for Bet-at-Home. Two months ago, their Q1 results were released. These show a drop in revenue of 54 per cent compared to the previous year. The company have been having regulatory problems in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.

A revenue figure of €14.0m (£11.9m) was recorded, though Bet-at-Home say that was within expectations for that period. A loss of 1.4m euros was recorded but this is before interest, profit, depreciation and amortisation.

The company have withdrawn from the Austrian gambling market and then from October 2021, they stopped accepting Dutch players but hope to resume operating in that country this year. The stricter regulation in Germany has also affected their business. Now comes problems in the UK with this suspension and review announced.