Recent news has seen several casino operators including JackpotJoy and ComeOn remove their online casinos from the UK market. The cause for this has been twofold; concern over the actual financial viability of the market and the heavy-handed tactics employed by the UKGC.
ComeOn Chief Executive Lahcene Merzoug was outspoken about the fact that even though Comeon and its brand had never received a fine or warning from the UKGC the authority’s recent actions were concerning enough for them to choose to leave the market rather than risk receiving an unwarranted penalty.
✓Here Comes The Iron Fist!
EveryMatrix found themselves falling foul of the UKGC ban hammer late last week with an immediate suspension of their B2C operating licence, effectively banning their online casino clients from servicing UK players.
Friday saw them post the following notice:
“We regret to inform you that, until further notice, EveryMatrix Software Ltd. cannot accept any further gambling activity from players from Great Britain on the following: Bookee, PWRbet, Fantasino, PlayFrank, Sportingindex, WestCasino, Dragonara Online, Jetbull, Mr Win and CasinoMulti.
During this period EveryMatrix will continue to deliver a fair and safe experience to its players. All players will be able to access their accounts and withdraw any funds held in it at any time. Ante-post bets will be honoured, so if you have placed bets on future events these will be paid out as usual if they become winning bets.”
As you can see from the above this impacts 10 online casino and betting operators and the thousands of players these companies service.
✓Is This Not The Purview Of The UKGC?
While the expectation is that the UKGC will act on behalf of the customer in this instance it is the lack of clarity and the wide-reaching impact of the action taken that has been the cause for concern.
All that EveryMatrix could say with regards the suspension of their licence is that the ban was based on “on a general evaluation of EveryMatrix procedures rather than specific cases of player complaints”.
What were these egregious predatory actions that demanded this immediate shutdown of all ten casino and betting operations one might ask? The only clarity EveryMatrix could provide on this was “the UK Gambling Commission raised concerns related to how the company manages the customer interactions” so no clear evidence of fraud, theft, ongoing abuse but compliance concerns over nonspecific “customer interactions”!
While it is expected that the UKGC will protect players it should also be creating an environment where operators want to sign up for their licence for its prestige and value. Given the recent sentiment towards the market the UKGC is failing to attract operators and seems bent on chasing them away.
✓The Road Ahead
EveryMatrix is making the best of a bad situation clarifying that they are working with the UKGC to resolve the matter as soon as possible and that the licence suspension is not a reflection of the quality of their technical systems, in their post stating:
“EveryMatrix has fully cooperated with the UKGC throughout the license review and has communicated all the steps and actions it has taken to meet its social responsibility obligations. EveryMatrix is hopeful that the suspension will be lifted shortly.
The suspension is based on a general evaluation of EveryMatrix procedures rather than specific cases of player complaints. EveryMatrix remains committed to providing a fair and safe experience to its players, and all affected players can access their accounts and withdraw any funds held there at any time during the suspension period.
The suspension is not related to failing a technical audit of the software, and as such, the B2B license in UK has not been suspended. The B2B license remains active, and the company continues to provide gambling software to UK licensed operators.”
Without a hard deadline it is difficult to predict how long this process may take to be resolved. However, we hope that for the sakes of everyone involved the UKGC is motivated to find a solution quickly.