Stakers Loses Its UK Gambling Licence
Stakers, an online casino and betting brand, has lost its UK gambling licence after its appeal against suspension was dismissed. This effectively means the shutdown of all the casino’s UK operations.
The UK Gambling Commission suspended Stakers’ licence in March 2020. The suspension resulted from multiple compliance issues. At the time, the UKGC instructed Stakers to notify its players to stop placing bets on the website and help customers empty their accounts.
The appeal process addressed regulatory issues and failings to comply with the Gambling Act 2005. Stakers complained that the compliance assessment was conducted through Skype.
The presiding judge concluded that the Skype assessment was lawful for the purposes of producing records and documents. However, the judge also found that the UK’s gambling legislation doesn’t require the casino operators to show live operational space through the platform to the UKGC or provide test accounts.
Failing to comply with the Gambling Act could result in a criminal offence. Therefore, the judge ruled that the commission officers were not under the obligation to caution individuals at Stakers prior to the Skype compliance assessment under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.
The solicitor from Joelson law firm, Richard Williams, represented Stakers and noted that the company’s licence was revoked a year ago. This included the six-month period between the final hearing and the Tribunal’s decision. Williams pointed out that the delay hurt Stakers’ chances of keeping its operations afloat.
“Operators whose licence has been suspended, even where they do not agree with the commission about alleged regulatory failings, will understand that appealing a suspension to the First-tier Tribunal may not be a viable option if they want to keep their business open,” said Richard Williams.
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