The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has suspended the operating licence of BGO Entertainment taking effect immediately, after citing concerns that the operator may be ‘unsuitable’ to carry out licensed activities.
The UKGC confirmed that the company had been placed under its licensing review in accordance with Section 116 of the 2005 Gambling Act, which allows the suspending of a licence under investigation if it deems that ‘activities have been carried on in a manner which is inconsistent with the licensing objectives’.
A statement from the organisation explained: “The review and consequent suspension follow 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.”
Last Autumn, the UKGC imposed ‘new restrictions’ on BGO’s licence as the operator was suggested to have systemic failures related to AML controls and customer care duties, recorded between September 2018 to March 2020.
BGO was forced to pay a £2 million settlement and undertake ‘enhanced’ due diligence checks on its top 250 customers as a compliance obligation of the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations of 2017.
The UKGC provided no information with regards to the platform’s sudden suspension but stated that the operator ‘must keep customers fully informed of any developments which impact them’.
Issuing a statement on its website, BGO informed customers that it is working with UKGC to try to resolve the situation, and added: “In the meantime, you are able to withdraw any funds currently in your account. Deposits will not be permitted.”
Last year, UKGC again announced action against BGO (among two others) after reviewing its licences following a number of failures which included not doing enough to keep consumers safe and failing to prevent money laundering and criminal spending.
This saw new conditions imposed on its licence to improve its policies and procedures as well as making payments to progress the work of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.