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The UKGC promptly suspends BGO Entertainment’s operating license

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BGO Casino received notice from the UKGC that its operating license is suspended with immediate effect.

Earlier this week, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission released a notice of suspension for BGO Entertainment Limited. The UKGC informed British citizens of the license suspension and that BGO online casino may not offer any further services to its patrons, apart from paying their account balances to them.

The suspension of the operator’s license follows a review carried out under section 116 of the 2005 Gambling Act. This springs from an investigation into the operators’ activities, based on concerns that they did not carry certain activities out under the conditions of the license agreement, contrary to the Act.

UKGC: Protecting the consumer

In its press release the regulator noted, “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 protection of consumers was a pivotal point in the decision that led to the suspension, as the Commission considers whether BGO Casino is suitable to carry on with licensed activities.

In accordance with section 118 (2) of the Act, the suspension notice came into effect immediately.

BGO informs their players

BGO communicated the suspension with their clients via electronic correspondence and stated:

“Following a notification from the Gambling Commission of Great Britain that BGO Entertainment limited operating licence has been suspended, it is with regret that we have to inform you that UK players are not currently permitted to access any of our services.

We’re working with the UKGC to resolve this situation quickly, but in the meantime, you are able to withdraw any funds currently in your account. Deposits will not be permitted.”

Online casinos operated by BGO Entertainment Limited are bgo.com, m.bgo.com, powerspins.com, vegasluck.com and Chilli Casino. Each of these casinos has a notice visible on their websites as well.

Although the suspension prevents them from taking money and offering online gambling, they need to give consumers access to the withdrawal of funds. The regulator advises consumers they may access their accounts regardless of the suspension.

Not the first time

BGO seems to struggle to stay out of trouble as the company paid a ₤2 million settlement in 2020 to the UK Gambling Commission after they upheld a judgment regarding a lack of social responsibility and poor anti-money laundering protocols. Following this, BGO faced new conditions attached to their operating license. The red flags were that BGO failed to take action when gamblers spent six-figure amounts, which contravenes the Act.

Although the Commission did not state whether the suspension relates to last year’s new restrictions, section 116 of the Act refers to a review undertaken to “ensure compliance with conditions...” and it would not be surprising if the two events are linked.

Following the investigation findings in 2020 and after paying the fine, BGO came into agreement with UKGC that they will improve their due diligence protocols. Specifically regarding the 125 largest deposit players, as well as the 125 top losses recorded by customers.

This announcement and others published this week, show the UK Gambling Commission’s commitment to the safe online gambling industry has not changed.

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