It is being reported that BGO will permanently lose their UK licence after having it temporarily suspended in October.
According to rumours circulating only, the Gambling Commission has made the decision to essentially ban BGO – whose brands include BGO.com, PowerSpins, Chilli and VegasLuck – from operating on UK soil.
That is yet to be confirmed by either BGO or the UKGC, and so a healthy pinch of salt should be taken, but it would – if true – bring the curtain on a chaotic couple of years for the operator.
On October 22, it was confirmed that BGO had decided to surrender their licence following the regulator’s announcement, who confirmed that the firm ‘may be unsuitable’ to carry on operating on UK soil in their current guise.
“The Gambling Commission has suspended the operating licence of BGO Entertainment Limited as it carries out a review under section 116 of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act),” a statement from the UKGC said.
“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.”
Ordinarily, the UKGC would carry out an investigation into the operator and decide upon retrospective punishment, but the fact that BGO has voluntarily handed in their licence muddies the water somewhat.
Indeed, BGO might be trying to ensure they aren’t handed a whopping fine for their breaches by leaving town ahead of time….
Either way, a notice on BGO.com encourages their players to take action as soon as possible.
“BGO Entertainment Limited surrendered it’s [sic] UK operating licence on 22nd October 2021. It is with regret that we have to inform you that UK players are no longer permitted to access any of our services.
“We kindly request that you withdraw any funds currently in your account. Deposits will not be permitted.”
It’s not the first time that BGO have been in trouble with the UKGC, and it might be surmised that their latest series of breaches would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
It’s almost a year to the day since restrictions were imposed on BGO’s licence, after the regulator found them liable for a series of player welfare and anti-money laundering breaches.
“BGO accepted that between 25 September 2018 and 23 March 2020 it did not have effective policies and procedures in place for customers who may be displaying signs of problem gambling,” the Commission noted.
“This led to BGO not always identifying and interacting with customers who were displaying signs of problem gambling and, even when the customer interaction process was triggered, there was a failure to follow up with an interaction.”
Those included allowing one National Lottery winner to wager £159,000 in the space of three months….racking up significant losses in the process. BGO were instructed to pay £2 million to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.