FSB Faces UKGC Review after Second White-Label Casino Closure
UK’s gambling watchdog has instigated a review into gambling technology and white label service provider FSB Technology (UK) Limited after the company “voluntarily suspended” activities on its Blackbet website.
Blackbet’s recent closure was the second white label issue that FSB has experienced in recent weeks.
In a statement issued Thursday on its official website, the UK Gambling Commission said that it would carry out a review into FSB’s activities under Section 116 of the Gambling Act 2005. That part of the UK’s gambling law says that the nation’s gambling regulator can launch a review into the UK-facing operations of any of its licensees if it:
(a) has reason to suspect that activities may have been carried on in purported reliance on the licence but not in accordance with a condition of the licence,
(b) believes the licensee, or a person who exercises a function in connection with or is interested in the licensed activities, has acquired a conviction of a kind [..], or
(c) for any reason –
(i) suspects that the licensee may be unsuitable to carry on the licensed activities, or
(ii) thinks that a review would be appropriate.
The Gambling Commission’s statement went on that FSB has “voluntarily suspended activities on its Blackbet website” and that the move “will not prevent the operator from paying out customers.”
Concerns over the Levels of Due Diligence Performed on a Small Number of Partners
The Blackbet.co.uk website currently features a message saying that all gambling activities on the website will remain suspended for the foreseeable future and that any funds in customers’ accounts can be withdrawn.
FSB also advises customers to settle all bets they have placed until 23:59 on Tuesday, August 27. Any unsettled bets will be made void.
Providing more details about the UKGC’s ongoing review, FSB’s CEO, David McDowell, said in a statement that the regulator “has recently expressed concerns over the levels of due diligence performed on a small number of our white-label partners.” The statement read further that “these partners and FSB are now fully cooperating with the UKGC and we anticipate comprehensive resolution of those concerns in short order.”
The gambling services and technology provider does not expect the investigation to cause any “further impact or site-suspension.”
The 1xBet Incident
News about UKGC’s review emerged just about a week after FSB suspended the UK-facing website of its white label partner 1xBet. The suspension was prompted by an investigation by the Sunday Times that detailed 1xBet’s involvement in extremely questionable and almost certainly illegal advertising practices.
The news outlet said that those practices involved the promotion of a “pornhub casino” that lured players with topless croupiers, taking bets on children’s sports, and advertising its services on torrent websites.
FSB said that was reviewing its license agreement with 1xBet, following the publication of the Sunday Times’ report.
As for 1xBet, it said that any potential presence of content promoting its brand on prohibited websites should be blamed on the operator’s third-party affiliates and networks. The company went on to say that “if any of these third-party networks or partners are found to advertise the 1xBet brand on prohibited sites or sites which break the law, 1xBet shall investigate immediately.”
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