Reasons for suspension made public
Sports betting exchange Matchbook, owned by Triplebet, had its license suspended back on February 17 with immediate effect.
At the time, little was revealed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) as to the reasons for the ban, except that the sanctions were a result of social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings.
The UKGC has now released the findings of their investigation, which found a series of serious failings by Matchbook following a license review in August 2018.
Social responsibility failings
While the investigation detailed many instances of social responsibility failings, the most serious included one customer who gambled $2m over two days without any intervention.
included one customer who gambled $2m over two days without any intervention
Another incident involved a player who had registered and then self-excluded being able to reopen his account six months later, resulting in a large sum of money being lost. The customer gambled for 10 hours per day over consecutive days before self-excluding again.
Syndicates also a big issue
Another matter was the action taken toward syndicates. Matchbet’s most prolific syndicate was organized by a professional gambler who had an interest in Triplebet.
Over 18 months from November 2016, the syndicate was able to match bets on the exchange for sums of around $55m without any documented risk assessment.
All syndicates have since been suspended by the company pending due diligence investigations. This was put in place before the date of the hearing.
Lack of risk management
In its verdict, UKGC noted that there were general failings in how Matchbook dealt with its top 10 customers. Issues included failing to record their details, verify their source of funds, and not preparing a risk profile.
On notification of the suspension, Matchbet immediately notified customers via its website. While bets cannot currently be placed, players can still withdraw funds. The notice on the website says that they will be “back soon.”
The UKGC has also imposed a financial penalty of £739,099 ($913,804)
Independent auditors will now be called in to make sure that Triplebet conforms with the verdict, which should be supported by a letter of assurance from Triplebet’s directors and personal management holders.
One of many suspensions in 2020
In a statement, Neil McArthur, chief executive of the UKGC, said: “We will not hesitate to use our regulatory powers, including the suspension and revocation of licenses, if we need to do that to protect consumers and the public from gambling related harm.”
The UKGC has suspended a number of licenses already this year, such as that of Addison Global Limited, International Multi-Media Entertainments Limited, and Stakers Limited.