Genesis Global Throws in the Towel, Shuts off Access to 14 Sites in the UK

Genesis Global has decided it no longer wants to fight the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) or its rules. The gaming operator cut off 14 of its online gaming platforms this week to UK consumers, and also turned off access to its corporate website.

Genesis Global Gaming
Genesis Global Gaming
Genesis Global Gaming’s office in Malta. The online gaming company is pulling its 14 iGaming platforms out of the UK market. (Image: The Shift News)

Genesis, whose corporate website is down, has had trouble with the UKGC for the past couple of years. The UKGC accused it of not living up to its social responsibility or anti-money laundering (AML) obligations in 2020, sparking a battle that lingered until this year.

The 14 gaming sites went dark for UK customers as of December 6. However, as iGaming Business confirmed, customers can still withdraw funds. After December 30, though, that might no longer be an option.

Tough Times For Genesis

The UKGC suspended the company’s license in 2020 for its failures, but Genesis appealed. That led to a temporary cancellation of the suspension, but the gaming regulator continued to review the company. In that investigation, it discovered even more failings, bringing additional problems to Genesis.

As a result, in January of this year, the operator received more bad news from the UKGC. It was handed a bill for £3.8 million (US$4.2 million) for the violations.

The UKGC has a habit of issuing six- or seven-digit fines and attributing them to AML failings. In doing so, the regulator has accumulated well over $100 million in one year. However, operators should know by now that they’re not going to be able to beat the UKGC.

Genesis has also faced trouble in other European countries. It is still caught up in a battle with Sweden’s gaming regulator over supposed violations that led to a fine of SEK4 million (US$418,800). That fight had to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

At the same time Genesis was shutting off access to UK customers, it was waving goodbye to CEO Ariel Reem. He has decided to leave the company, although without a lot of fanfare. Reem stepped down in November, according to his LinkedIn page, and posted on Monday that it’s “time to move on to the next challenge/adventure.”

UK To Take “Common Sense” Approach To Gambling

The UK has spent the past several years revamping its gambling laws, previously expecting to introduce changes a year ago. That didn’t happen, and the white paper that would finalize the updated rules was then going to be presented this past February.

Once again, more delays arrived and the turmoil that turned the UK government upside down over the summer forced even more setbacks. Gambling reform was no longer a priority, with the government trying to fend off a recession and disarray across all ranks.

However, amid the chaos, former Prime Minister Liz Truss, who set a record for shortest tenure, appointed Michelle Donelan as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Donelan is still in place, and told parliamentarians this week that the gambling review is still underway.

There’s now light at the end of the tunnel. Donelan said that the government is taking a “common sense” approach to gambling reform. She added that the white paper could arrive “within a matter of weeks.”

It isn’t clear what changes will come or if they will impact how the UKGC performs its duties. Donelan said that the reform won’t “curtail people’s everyday lives or their enjoyment in relation to recreational gambling.” As the UKGC has tried to implement strict spending controls and other restrictions, these might clash with the government’s views.

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