It never rains but it pours….
Less than six months after being sued for more than £10 million in separate lawsuits filed by Manchester United and Watford FC, the parent company of MoPlay has had their licence suspended by both the UK and Gibraltar gaming authorities.
Addison Global Limited, which operates MoPlay, have been told by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) that for breaches of section 118 of the Gambling Act 2005 that their operating licence has been suspended while a further review is undertaken.
While not going into a huge amount of detail, the UKGC has confirmed that Addison Global has breached a condition of their licence and is ‘unsuitable to carry on their licensed activities.’ Section 120(1)(b) dictates that licences can be removed in such cases.
Until a formal conclusion is reached and reported, it is illegal for the firm to offer gambling via their MoPlay.co.uk portal in the UK, although customers can still access their account should they wish to make a withdrawal.
Addison Global is also legally liable for outstanding bets, so any MoPlay customers that have open ante post and outright wagers will still have these settled as normal.
The actual conditions of the breach haven’t been published, although at the end of their press release the UKGC writes that ‘we have informed Addison Global Limited that we expect clear messaging to consumers regarding their accounts.’
The situation in Gibraltar may just clear that up. There, the Gambling Licensing Authority (GLA) has said that ‘solvency issues’ has left them with no choice but to suspend Addison Global’s licence.
It follows claims that the firm’s main shareholder had been working on restructuring proposals to free up capital, however the GLA was unsatisfied that these would allow the brand to meet its licensing requirements.
A GLA statement read:
“It is most disappointing that the promised financial support from the shareholder has failed to materialise, as the firm has not received the financial support it was projected to receive when first licensed.”
A Lengthy Tale of Woe
In truth, the dire financial situation engulfing MoPlay dates back to the autumn of 2019.
Back then the firm, founded by former William Hill senior Juergen Reutter, became embroiled in not one but two high-profile court cases with Premier League teams.
Manchester United sued Addison Global for an estimated £9 million in an attempt to recoup ‘unpaid money’ from the firm, which is believed to refer to missed sponsorship payments from MoPlay.
The Red Devils successfully took legal action against Select Management Resources, essentially a payday loans company in the USA who had agreed to guarantee payments from Addison Global.
And that was followed by another lawsuit, this time by Watford. They had agreed a sponsorship deal with Addison Global that saw the MoPlay branding added to the sleeves of the Hornets’ home and away shirts, but they too didn’t receive all of their payments and sued for unpaid monies believed to total in excess of £1.5 million.
The financial issues at Addison Global fly in the face of the popularity of MoPlay, who averaged more than 500,000 website hits per month in 2019.