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 Matchbook returns to UK after license suspension 13/08/2020
• The British Gambling Commission has lifted the suspension of Matchbook operator Triplebet’s remote operating licence

The UK Gambling Commission has lifted the suspension of TripleBet’s licence because it has implemented the remedial measures required. Additional licence conditions set out remain.

Triplebet operated a betting exchange and a remote casino under the trading name ‘Matchbook’. Its operating licence was suspended on February 17 as part of a package of sanctions for social responsibility and money laundering failings.

Among the failings it found were a case of a player who deposited a large sum of money and and withdrew it on the same day without gambling any of it, with no monitoring or interaction from Matchbook. A different player gambled over £2m in a single day but did not receive any source of funds or source of wealth checks.

Triplebet also allowed account-to-account money transfers, which the regulator said was “an obvious risk for money laundering". The Commission said Triplebet was not able to produce a record of any account-to-account transfer being refused.

After the Gambling Commission began its review of its practices, Triplebet engaged the services of performance improvement consultancy Alvarez and Marsal

While the Commission acknowledged that by June 2018, Triplebet had adopted an “effective” responsible gambling policy, it had not adopted all recommendations by the time of the licence hearing in late January, after deciding to implement them in phases. As a result, the licence was suspended.

The recommendations provided by Alavarez and Marsal included new policies for the fair treatment of customers, the creationnt of a new compliance committee, the development of a new responsible gambling algorithm and steps towards Gamcare’s Safer Gambling Standard certification.

The consultants also said Triplebet should introduce AML and problem gambling training by GamCare for 30 key members of staff and daily screening to recognise players that may be those subject to international sanctions or may be politically exposed people (PEPs).

In addition, Triplebet was required to continue to work to the standards the consultants recommended, provide auditors' reports every six months on its compliance with these recommendations and stop facilitating account-to-account money transfers.

A Matchbook spokesperson said: “This announcement marks the culmination of many months of hard work and investment across our entire business.

“We are extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of our staff during a very challenging economic period that has enabled Matchbook to once again offer a much improved exchange platform to UK residents as we continue to grow our market share and deliver an industry leading platform and liquidity pool for our customers.”

After the initial fallout, Matchbook’s CEO at the time, Mark Brosnan, resigned in May. That exit followed the company being fined about $967,000 (£740,000) a month earlier over its failure to play by the rules. Brosnan had been with the company for 16 years, and asserted that his departure was not related to the investigation or the license suspension in the U.K.

Following the lifting of the license suspension Matchbook has reappeared on the influential odds comparison website Oddschecker at the expense of rival Betdaq who have never had regulatory problems in their 20 year history. Another rival, Smarkets, remains on the site and together they provide some competition for market share leader, Betfair.

Matchbook's rise as an exchange player charging only 2% commission was one of the moving forces behind Betfair's reduction of its commission from a massive 5% to 2% also.