PlayerFT Limited is the operator behind the popular fantasy sports brand Fiveyards. Due to failures to integrate the self-exclusion scheme GAMSTOP, PlayerFT Limited has lost its UK Gambling Commission license. The regulator has suspended its license and informed consumers that they can still access their accounts and withdraw their funds. This information was revealed on 2 July in the news section of the UKGC’s website. It remains unclear how the brand will continue to operate as the UK was its primary market.
According to the press release issued by the UKGC, the Commission instigated a review of the PlayerFT Limited operating license. This review came after there were concerns that the activities by the operator breached the license conditions. More precisely, PlayerFT Limited was supposedly unsuitable to perform its licensed activities. Instead, the company was operating in a way inconsistent with the objectives set out in its license.
The UKGC also decided to suspend the PlayerFT operating license resulting from the operator’s failure to integrate GAMSTOP. GAMSTOP is the national self-exclusion scheme that has been mandatory for UKGC-licensed brands ever since 31 March 2020. UKGC has been dedicated to sanctioning any companies that ignored these requirements and didn’t implement GAMSTOP as advised.
In their explanation, the UKGC said that the operator was informed that it should treat customers fairly. Moreover, PlayerFT Limited should keep all customers informed on the license review and suspension developments. This suspension won’t affect Fiveyards users, as they will be able to access accounts and cash out funds. If anyone has any questions regarding the situation, they can contact PlayerFT via the brand’s website.
Fiveyards is the flagship product of PlayerFT, a London-based operator. Fiveyards is a virtual football transfer market whose users get to trade players for real money. They can also submit scout reports and provide their expertise to other platform users. With the suspension, Fiveyards will have to cease its operations except for releasing players’ funds.
The UKGC has been dedicated to creating a safe gambling and betting environment for British consumers. Consequently, many other operators have had their licenses suspended for all kinds of shortcomings regarding customer protection.
Martin Henry Bailey is the latest brand whose license was suspended on 7 July. This operator has a non-remote permit to run a betting shop. The situation is similar to the one with PlayerFT. Namely, the Commission has started a review and suspended the licenses until a decision has been made.
Another high-profile case in the iGaming industry happened in April 2021, when the UKGC suspended Nektan’s license. Nektan had a long list of casino and bingo sites operating under its license. It’s been months since the suspension took place, and Nektan’s remote license is still marked as ‘Suspended’ on the UKGC’s website.
In May 2021, Lottery England Limited had the same destiny as all the other operators mentioned before.