Gaming business agrees to pay regulator £500k

AN ONLINE gaming company based in Guernsey has agreed to pay the UK betting regulator £500,000 after admitting breaching anti-money laundering and social responsibility requirements.

Jumpman Gaming’s Albert House offices. (30942533)
Jumpman Gaming’s Albert House offices. (30942533)

Jumpman Gaming, which is based in Albert House, South Esplanade, allows customers to bet real money on virtual games.

The UK Gambling Commission found the company had failed to regulate how much money customers were gambling, allowing some to deposit and lose more than they could afford.

One customer lost more than £15,000 in less than a month, without evidence being gathered about whether they could afford it, while another lost almost £19,000 in a four-month period.

The commission said the company relied on automated interactions with customers when spending limits were flagged and did not appear to take affordability seriously enough.

The commission said that the breaches of licence conditions were ‘systemic’ and not untypical of the industry and previous enforcement cases with other firms.

However the company had brought in action plans and taken steps to remedy the breaches and stop them happening again. The licensee and senior managers cooperated with the commission in a timely and transparent manner.

The £500,000 paid by the company ‘in lieu of a financial penalty’ will go towards delivering the national strategy to reduce gambling harms. It also had to pay the commission’s costs of investigation at £13,500.

The Guernsey Press attempted to contact the company through multiple routes but no-one would comment.

Earlier this year Jumpman Gaming was claiming it had a local workforce of some 30 people

based in what it called ‘the coolest office in Guernsey’ and was pledging to support a number of community projects.

Founded in 2009, it calls itself a leading innovator in online gaming, having built and maintained more than 100 brands and won a number of industry awards.

The company is regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. It responded to Guernsey Press inquiries by referencing the relevant sections of its website, and said customers should lodge complaints with the company.

Unhappy customers said that they had been similarly frustrated in trying to contact the company.

Some 94% of reviews on Trustpilot reported bad experiences with the site, with some saying their accounts were closed or suspended when trying to withdraw winnings. Others said they had received no response when trying to obtain money they were owed.

There is no phone number registered with the company and customers said emails and Facebook messages were ignored.

Customer tells of difficulties in accessing winnings

STAY-AT-HOME mum Laura Malarky, who lives in Edinburgh, claimed the site was ‘a scam’ after realising she could not access £600 of winnings.

‘They’re finding any excuse not to give people their money. I do believe they just want people to bet money they’ve won,’ she said.

‘There was no response, no communication from them. They removed my comments on Facebook and ignored my messages. That’s what angers me – their social media pages show all this stuff about their employee benefits but they will not speak to their customers at all.’

Eventually she received an apology and was allowed to withdraw £50.

In 2018, the company was made to remove terms and conditions stopping players from withdrawing money in one go, as it was believed to lead some to gamble again rather than taking their winnings.

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