12 Mar

B-Slap for Stakers as MGA Suspends License too

From Bad to Worse: MGA suspends Stakers internet gambling license

From Bad to Worse: MGA Suspends Staker’s Internet Gambling License

If you were ever curious what the old adage, ‘Out of the pot and into the frying pan’ meant, today’s story should clarify things for you. It’s all about a situation going from bad to worse, as it did this week for Stakers Ltd, operator of the Malta-based online gambling operation of the same name. Stakers got a double front-to-back-hand bitch slap from dual regulatory authorities in the UK and Malta.

It all started last week when the UK announced the interim suspension of Stakers’ remote gambling license. Instead of responding with meek cooperation, Stakers decided to poke the lion, making fun of the situation and initiating an attempt – albeit a pathetic one – to get the UK Gambling Commission disbanded. Now, the operator’s home country of Malta made it known such behavior will not be tolerated.

MGA Suspends Stakers’ Internet Gambling License

Things went from bad to worse for the iGaming company when the Malta Gaming Authority decided to follow the UK’s footsteps in suspending Stakers’ remote gaming license. The license was effectively revoked until further notice as of Monday, March 9, with the announcement coming the following morning on the MGA website.

The MGA confirms the decision to suspend the license of Stakers Limited (RN/112/2019), thereby revoking authorization to “carry out any gaming operations, register new players or accept new customer deposits,” effective March 9, 2020.

Furthermore, Stakers has been ordered to “retain and provide all registered players with access to their player accounts, and to refund all funds standing to the credit of players in line with the applicable law.”

As for why the suspension is coming from Malta, the Authority says it’s in direct connection with the UK Gambling Commission’s decision last week.

“This sanction is being imposed upon Stakers Limited in light of the suspension of their United Kingdom licence, thus the recognition thereof for its use in/from Malta is equally suspended.”

You Don’t Poke the Lion…

I think the real question is whether Malta would have acted so swiftly to suspend Stakers’ license had the operator not been so arrogant as to lash out at the UKGC for temporary suspension last Thursday. Most operators who come under investigation make every effort to cooperate, knowing the situation will only take longer to resolve if they do not. But not Stakers…

Instead of acquiescing to the investigation and apologizing to UK members for the convenience, the company posted a pop-up message that appeared only to UK visitors. It was done in a ‘Breaking News’ headline format, poking fun at the UKGC and insinuating that its over-bearing regulations are to blame.

The real kicker was a link to a petition that seeks to get the Commission disbanded entirely. Titled, “Not Fit For Purpose”, it’s is loosely based on a report from the UK agency that claims regulations are not adequate and that, as a result, the UKGC is unable to fulfill its purpose and should therefore be disbanded. That petition has managed to harvest just 51 signatures.

The end result has been a reversal of Stakers’ original intent. The operator was hoping to turn its members against those who stripped them of their internet gambling license. Instead, Stakers has become the laughing stock of the iGaming market.

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