MaxEnt Appeals Licence Revocation
The UK Gambling Commission has revoked the UK licence of Malta-based operator MaxEnt after a change of ownership. The company is planning to appeal the decision, which will otherwise come into effect on June 18th.
MaxEnt Limited, trading as Maxent NRR Entertainment and formerly known as NRR Entertainment, has been stripped of its UK gambling licence by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. The decision comes after a change in ownership, as the operator was acquired by an unnamed company in May 2018. The Gambling Commission has stated that it may not have granted the UK licence in the first place had it known at the time that it was being bought over.
The UK Gambling Commission is part of the UK government and is responsible for regulating gambling and supervising gaming laws in the United Kingdom. Its remit covers casinos, slot machines, bingo, sports betting, arcades, and lotteries. Its main aims are to keep crime out of gambling and to protect the vulnerable. Without a licence from this regulating body, a casino – whether online or land-based – cannot legally operate in the UK.
The Gambling Commission made the decision to revoke MaxEnt’s licence after a hearing before a regulatory panel. It then revoked the licence under section 102(4)(b) of the Gambling Act 2005. A statement from the UKGC listed two main reasons for the revocation. Firstly, the Commission expressed doubts about the new management. It is “not satisfied that it would have been granted the operating licence to the licensee had the new controller been a controller of the company when the application for the operating licence was made […] The commission also identified concerns relating to the new controller’s suitability, in that it appeared that he had provided conflicting information and had failed to be full and frank in his dealings with the commission.” Secondly, it is “not satisfied as to the source of funds used to acquire and support the licensee at the time of, and following, the change of corporate control”.
These are serious accusations and if the company fails to allay the Commission’s concerns in the appeal, it will lose its licence on 18th June. Without said licence, it will not be able to operate legally in the UK. MaxEnt owns UK brands such as Slotty Vegas and BetAt.
MaxEnt Limited has already published a statement confirming that it will be appealing the Commission’s decision to revoke its UK licence. It claims that the UKGC acknowledges that the company is “adequately funded both now and for the future and that they are happy with the source of funding”. Apparently, the revocation of its licence is not to do with the way the business is run, nor how its customers are treated.
MaxEnt makes it clear in its statement that, as far as it is concerned, the only issue is the change in ownership of the company. The business went through a transition period before the current management – led by Chief Executive Greg Bennet – took over, and this is the period about which the Commission is now bringing up concerns. It argues that the Commission’s only problem is with “availability of documentary evidence from two years ago” and that all concerns “relate to the transition period which happened prior to the change of management”.
The operator has also expressed its dissatisfaction at the Gambling Commission’s choice of words in its statement: “We are disappointed that the Commission has chosen to write: “This follows identification of concerns relating to the operator’s finances and information supplied to the Commission” on their website as this is, in light of what was written in the findings, misleading. Readers willing to click through for further details do however find an accurate statement, in full context.”
The statement goes on to say that MaxEnt is hopeful of a positive outcome following the appeal, as it feels that the Commission’s decision is not “sufficiently objective”. It will, however, be “carefully considering” its position in the UK market nonetheless.