Gambling Commission Sign

Gambling Commission suspends PlayerFT licence over Gamstop failings

The UK’s gambling regulator has suspended an operator’s licence over Gamstop failings.

The UK Gambling Commission has suspended the licence of PlayerFT over concerns the group failed to integrate with Gamstop.

Commission suspends PlayerFT’s licence

In a statement, the Commission explained that the licence was suspended under Section 118(2) of the Gambling Act.

The UK regulatory body announced on Friday that it moved to suspend PlayerFT’s operating licence over concerns that the operator may have breached licence terms and failed to comply with industry standards.

PlayerFT is the operator of Fiveyards, a London-based firm that acts as a virtual football transfer market.

The platform allows customers to buy and sell players for real money as well as write scout reports to recommend footballers for other customers.

As well as failing to meet the standards expected of the operator, the Commission found that PlayerFT failed to integrate the mandatory national self-exclusion service Gamstop.

In the UK, Gamstop integration has been mandatory for all licensed operators since 31 March 2020.

The suspension of PlayerFT’s licence came into effect immediately however customers can still access their accounts and withdraw funds.

The Commission explained: “We have made it clear to the operator that during the course of the suspension, we expect it to focus on treating consumers fairly and keeping them fully informed of any developments which impact them.”

What else has the Commission been up to?

Last month, the Commission appointed Andrew Rhodes as the body’s new interim chief executive for an 18-month period.

Rhodes, who has previously held senior roles at the Department for Work and Pensions and the DVLA and Swansea University,  will oversee the Gambling Commission while it looks for a permanent replacement for Neil McArthur.

MCArther stepped down as CEO of the Gambling Commission in March 2021 a week after the Commission came under fire for the collapse of the Football Index trading platform.

In April, the Commission also suspended the remote gambling licence belonging to Nektan on grounds the operator had breached licence conditions.

In a statement, the Commission said the business was “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”. 

The Commission also suspended the external lottery manager licence of Lottery England Limited in May 2021. The operator held a non-remote external lottery manager licence.

This meant the firm could manage lotteries and provide lottery services to charities and local authorities. Under the terms of the licence, these lotteries may not be run for commercial gain and fees must be paid every year.

The regulator cited concerns that “activities may have been carried out contrary to the Act, not in accordance with conditions of their licence.”

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