Operating licence of BGO Entertainment suspended by UKGC pending licence review
The Gambling Commission has today (15 October 2021) published the following Information Notice, which – unusually for such a well-known operator as BGO Entertainment – involves immediate suspension of an operating licence whilst a licence review is conducted by the regulator:
Information notice: Suspension of licence – BGO Entertainment Limited
The Gambling Commission has suspended the operating licence of BGO Entertainment Limited (operating licence no 039533-R-319369-021) as it carries out a review under section 116 of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act).
The review and consequent suspension follows 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.
Pursuant to section 118(2) of the Act, the Commission has determined to suspend the above operating licence.
We have made it clear to the operator that during the course of the suspension, we expect it to focus on treating consumers fairly and keeping them fully informed of any developments which impact them.
The suspension does not prevent the operator from allowing consumers to access their accounts and withdrawing funds. BGO Entertainment Limited – which operates bgo.com, m.bgo.com, powerspins.com, vegasluck.com and chilli.com – can be contacted through its websites.
The suspension takes place immediately.
This follows less than a year after the Gambling Commission announced that, by reason of AML and social responsibility failings, BGO Entertainment would:
- have additional conditions imposed on its licence (involving extra social responsibility and anti-money laundering checks being conducted on its top customers) and
- pay £2million to support the implementation of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms
as previously reported by us at that time.
1. On 22 October 2021 BGO Entertainment Limited surrendered its Gambling Commission operating licence, resulting in the following message being sent to BGO’s British customers:
2. On 23 November 2021, in an article entitled “BGO owner puts player database up for sale”, iGB quoted a ‘representative of BGO’ as telling it:
Operating in a regulated environment where the issued fines are not proportional versus the size of the operation makes little sense for BGO. It is with regret that BGO surrendered its licence after nine successful years, but it was the right decision to protect the players, staff and affiliate partners from a potential default. We welcome offers on the database and brand from other operators with a remaining appetite for the market.