Earlier this month the United Kingdom Gambling Commission suspended the license of EveryMatrix. The license was temporarily suspended under §18.2 of the Gambling Act of 2005; which allows for immediate suspension of a license if the UKGC believes the entity has violated the conditions of the license and is no longer suitable to hold a license.
While the reason for the license suspension has not been made clear it has been speculated that it could be tied to the anti-money-laundering procedures at EveryMatrix.
A few days after the suspension it was announced that EveryMatrix had struck a partnership with compliance specialists beBettor as part of its efforts to improve its social responsibility controls and ultimately have the suspension lifted. At the time, Chief Executive, Ebbe Groes was reported as saying the following concerning working with beBettor: “This can help drive an industry-wide push for better affordability checks for the UK players. Problem players will often have many accounts and the only way to spot and take action will be for us all to work together for a safer gambling experience.”
Shortly after the announcement, EveryMatrix pledged to use the review into its business to improve compliance procedures and processes across its business operations.
Moving towards the end of the month, EveryMatrix announced they would quit their B2C operations in the United Kingdom. Ebbe Groes was once again reported as saying the following: “After many years of successful and unproblematic B2C operations in the UK, the company is forced to consider the UK white label business of EveryMatrix to be irreparably damaged, despite its best efforts to swiftly prove the ability to operate in a safe, responsible, and compliant manner. … We fully respect UKGC’s decision of suspending our license and we acknowledge their wish for a substantially changed way of operating white label businesses in the future. … We regret the impact this suspension has had on our loyal players, on our brands, and on our long-standing white label partners in the UK, but this business has by now become unsalvageable.”
Going by the reporting of events it was a quick turnaround for EveryMatrix from wanting to fix the problem, to just giving up. The original suspension was reported on 06/09/2019, the beBettor partnership was reported on 12/09/2019, and finally, EveryMatrix quitting their UK B2C operations were reported on 23/09/2019.
After 11 days EveryMatrix went from wanting to fix the industry with “an industry-wide push for better affordability checks” to considering “the UK white label business of EveryMatrix to be irreparably damaged”.
But did EveryMatrix make the final decision to leave the UK B2C operations? Adam Wilson, Co-Founder of Bookee, a swipe-to-bet app, said that Bookee had been forced to cease operations in the UK following the decision of EveryMatrix to terminate all B2C operations in the UK. Adam Wilson even went so far as to make a statement on LinkedIn regarding their plans to return once they find a suitable platform. Interestingly though, he said in his LinkedIn statement “Many of you will have seen that today we had to officially announce to our customers that Bookee was ceasing operations in the UK. This is entirely connected to our platform supplier having their UK License suspended, and ultimately revoked permanently.”
But a quick check on the UKGC website as of today shows the license status of EveryMatrix as ‘Suspended’ and not ‘Surrendered’ or ‘Revoked’. Although the EveryMatrix website is still promoting holding a UKGC license.
With the UKGC not releasing any official statement, and their own website not showing any revocation, it can only be deemed that EveryMatrix voluntarily withdrew from the UK B2C market.
The only remaining question is whether any of the other regulatory bodies will be investigating EveryMatrix as they have all but admitted (if statements reported are true) that there are issues with their white label business practices and their B2C operations, especially as the EveryMatrix licenses page states: “Denmark has particular certification requirements which need to be met in order to be granted a license, thus the Danish gambling market is recognized today as one of the strictest jurisdictions in terms of remote technical standards.” which would suggest it was more difficult to obtain, and hold on to, than the UKGC license.