From Bad to Worse: MGA suspends Stakers 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
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.
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…
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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