One of The Sun newspaper’s first entries into the iGaming sector has finally closed after its operator had their UK licence revoked.
The Sun Play, which offered a range of slots and bingo games to its players, will no longer be accepting bets, and it has already been replaced by the Playtech-operated Sun Vegas and Sun Bingo – neither of whom are affected by the Play closure.
Nektan has been in a state of limbo since April 2021, when the UK Gambling Commission suspended their licence – citing that the firm ‘….has breached conditions of its licence, that it is unsuitable to carry on the licensed activities, and that the licensed activities are being or have been carried on in a manner which is inconsistent with the licensing objectives.’
That, in essence, makes it illegal for Nektan to offer their B2B services to clients in the UK market – a category which The Sun Play falls into.
Established back in 2015, The Sun Play was the first brand of its kind from News UK, the media group founded by Rupert Murdoch. They signed a deal with Nektan to operate the site via their Evolve mobile platform.
But after a couple of solid years of operation, the full extent of Nektan’s financial woes would be revealed – their licence revocation being the last step to protect players from further losses.
What Should Players Do?
If you have an active The Sun Play account, it’s worth noting that Nektan have medium protection in place as defined by the Commission’s standards – that basically means that they will take all possible steps to refund affected players, however there are no guarantees that account funds and/or winnings will be paid out in full.
If you do have any concerns, you can write to the Gambling Commission, or alternatively contact the dispute resolution service IBAS – the Independent Betting Adjudication Service – or the European Commission’s Online Dispute Resolution platform.
Again, it’s worth reiterating that Sun Vegas and Sun Bingo players are not affected by this matter.
Nektan Facing Uncertain and Unlikely Future
For a company delisted from the London Stock Exchange for failing to file their annual reports, and for a firm that has already called in the administrators, the future does not exactly look bright for Nektan.
The European firm, which operated Winner Casino amongst many other UK-facing and worldwide platforms, called in the liquidators in April 2020 after finding themselves to be unable to continue financially.
The decision was taken to sell off their B2C channel, with Grace Media – a white label firm under the ActiveWin banner, stepping up to pay £200,000 for their assets.
Nektan hoped that investment would stave off financial Armageddon and allow them to continue as a B2B operator, providing the software for other casino and bingo brands to thrive upon.
But the trail has gone cold since their licence was suspended by the UK regulator four months ago, and since then there has been radio silence on the current status – and future hopes – for the brand.