UKGC with Tough Reminder for Operators
by Glenn Baird - January 28, 2020
The UK’s gambling regulator, the UKGC, released a statement yesterday reminding all operators that transparency was paramount when explaining the source of money, both in and out of all gambling firms.
The announcement came hot on the heels of the Commission’s decision not to renew MaxEnt Limited’s licence following changes in the company’s corporate structure.
The regulator have been clear that they were not satisfied with explanations given over the origins of certain funding. Concerns that were raised both before and during the aforementioned alterations made to MaxEnt Limited’s corporate structure.
A direct quote taken from the UKGC’s website states the following reason for their concerns:
”Commission officials were concerned that the funds used posed a risk to the licensing objectives, notably, preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder, or being used to support crime.
“Issues around the evidence provided, and the fragmented disclosure process, raised concerns as to the suitability of the applicant to hold a licence.”
They go on to explain what the findings of the panel were:
1. Officials were satisfied as to the adequacy of resources now available to the applicant to fund the business in the future but not as to the source of funds used to acquire and support the business at the time of, and following, the changes of corporate control;
2. The Commission had no adequate evidence of the source of funds used to acquire and finance the business in 2017 and through 2018;
3. In a declaration form to another gambling regulator, the applicant failed to identify their previous ownership and management of a casino. This was also omitted from the applicant’s CV provided to the Commission;
4. Despite a protracted period of correspondence and discussion between the applicant and Commission officials prior to the Panel hearing, further material was produced to the Commission shortly before the hearing;
5. New, previously undisclosed information was identified during the hearing which required the applicant to provide further material; and
6. After the provision of this further material, evidence of source of funds remained outstanding. This meant that neither the Licensee nor the applicant had a proper appreciation for the need to be full and frank with the Commission, nor for what the Commission requires to process an application of this kind.
The report is concluded by explaining that MaxEnt Limited have been denied their request for a renewed licence, with the UKGC using this as an example to other operators in the UK of how important open and transparent financial transactions need to be.