EveryMatrix Gambling License Suddenly Suspended by UK Regulator Following Compliance Probe
Posted on: September 6, 2019, 02:50h.
Last updated on: September 6, 2019, 04:11h.
On Thursday, the UK Gambling Commission suspended the license of EveryMatrix. The company is a significant supplier of technology to the online gaming industry, as well as an operator of B2C white-label brands, including the online casino platform of SportingIndex, the market-leading spread-betting platform in the UK.
While the reasons behind the suspension are not completely clear, the regulator said its decision followed “compliance activity which included examining [EveryMatrix’s] customer interaction framework.”
As a condition of their licensing, operators are required to comply with KYC (know your customer) requirements, which involves monitoring customers for behavioral signals that could indicate problem gambling, and intervening when those red flags appear.
This also applies to anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Operators must establish the source of customer funds when large or otherwise suspicious transactions occur.
Existing Bets Honored
The UKGC said the suspension relates only to EveryMatrix’s B2C operations, not B2B. As a software supplier, its clients include the state-owned Norwegian lottery operator, NorskTipping, and Adjarabet, one of the biggest players in Eastern Europe, which was acquired by Paddy Power Betfair (now Flutter) earlier this year.
As a B2C white-label operator, EveryMatrix is responsible for the Bookee.co.uk, Pwrbet.com, Fantasino.com, Playfrank.com, Casino.Sportingindex.com, Westcasino.com, Dragonaraonline.com, Jetbull.com, Mrwin.com and Casinomulti.com brands, all of which were forced to stop taking bets on Thursday.
The company said in a statement that all ante-post bets (bets placed in advance of an event) will be honored and that all players will have access to their accounts to withdraw their funds during the suspension period.
During this period EveryMatrix will continue to deliver a fair and safe experience to its players,” the company said in a statement. “All players will be able to access their accounts and withdraw any funds held in it at any time.”
EveryMatrix emphasized that the suspension is not related to any failed technical audit of its software, and stressed its B2B licenses “remain active, and the company continues to provide gambling software to UK licensed operators.”
Several major companies have been sanctioned by the UKGC in recent years for non-compliance, including 888.com, William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Paddy Power Betfair. But license suspensions during investigations are relatively rare.
The UKGC has upped its enforcement action – and financial penalties – against errant operators in the face of a political backlash against the country’s liberal online gambling laws.
In August 2017, UKGC issued its highest ever fine – £7.8 million (then $10.2 million) – to 888 Holdings, but it did not suspend the company’s license. Nor has it suspended licenses before issuing tens of millions in fines to operators since.
This may not be a reflection of the seriousness of EveryMatrix’s transgression, but rather an indication of a change of policy by the regulator – a new willingness to suspend licenses while investigations are in process.
It may also suggest a renewed focus on white-label operators in general. In the past few weeks, the UKGC has suspended the operations of 1XBET and Blackbet, pending investigation. Both are white-label partners of software provider FSB Tech.