UK officials have decided to revoke the license of Silverbond Enterprises Ltd. after an extensive review, according to the Gambling Commission. Silverbond operates Park Lane Club, a brick-and-mortar gaming property in London’s Mayfair district.
The revocation goes into effect on Nov. 18. The ruling can be appealed.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Gambling Commission said it is “not satisfied” it “would have granted” the original gaming license if the company controlled the casino when the application was initially filed.
“We … are not satisfied as to the source of funds (SOF) used to acquire and support the Licensee at the time of the change of corporate control, or to whom future profits of the Licensee would be paid,” Helen Venn, the commission’s executive director, explained. “We also identified concerns with the suitability of the new controller because of its unsatisfactory history in providing information requested.”
For instance, the company failed to provide “full and proper explanations with supporting evidence,” according to a commission document.
The commission regulates UK gaming “to maintain public confidence” in the gaming industry. “We must be provided with information about those who run or have significant interest in gambling businesses,” Venn said.
2019 Fine on Silverbond
In 2019, Silverbond Enterprises was fined 1.8M British pounds (US$2.4M) by the UK Gambling Commission. The fine also relates to the Park Lane Club.
In a statement released last year, the commission highlighted how the company provided allegedly inadequate “social responsibility” responses. A customer acted in an allegedly “violent” manner, the commission said.
The customer allegedly threatened staff and damaged property, the commission added. There were also concerns about money laundering compliance.
The company allegedly failed to detail how anti-money laundering policies were to be implemented. It also failed to carry out enhanced due diligence on 61 customers, the commission claimed.
The commission began reviewing the company in 2016. In 2018, the commission conducted inspections at the London casino.
24M Active Gamblers in UK
Last year, the UK Gambling Commission reported 24 million adults were active gamblers in Great Britain. “Active” was defined as gambling at least once a month. Of the 24 million, 300,000 were identified as problem gamblers.
Despite the volume of gamblers, in April the UK Gambling Commission said it was reducing the number of employees. As of April, the commission had 332 full-time staff members.
The decision to cut back on staff was criticized by those who said the agency was already understaffed.
In February, the UK National Audit Office complained the Gambling Commission failed to keep up with the rapidly expanding online gaming industry.
“The way people gamble is changing, with new risks emerging in online and mobile gambling and other technological developments,” the audit said. Other concerns were raised by the coronavirus pandemic.