Although the Commission did not name this new owner, it said that they were unable to provide adequate proof of the source of funds used to acquire Silverbond. The business also had a track record of providing insufficient information, the regulator noted.
“We revoked this licence because we are not satisfied as to the source of funds (SOF) used to acquire and support the licensee at the time of the change of corporate control or to whom future profits of the licensee would be paid,” Helen Venn, executive director of the Gambling Commission, said.
“We also identified concerns with the suitability of the new controller because of its unsatisfactory history in providing information requested as part of our enquiries.”
As a result, it was “not satisfied that it would have granted the operating licence to the licensee, had the new controller been a controller of the company when the application for the operating licence was made.”
The licence was revoked under section 102(4)(b) of the Gambling Act 2005. Section 102 states that if a person becomes a controller of a licence holder, the company shall inform the Commission and either surrender their licence or apply for a determination that the operating licence shall continue to have effect.
The Commission then must determine if it would have granted the operating licence to the licensee had the new controller been in place when applying. If the Commission rules that it would not have, then section 102(4)(b) says it should revoke the licence.
It is set to be revoked on 18 November, though SIlverbond may appeal the decision.
The ruling follows years of regulatory difficulties for Silverbond. In 2016, the regulator initiated a review of its licence, which resulted in the imposition of additional licence conditions to address money laundering failures.
In 2018, the Commission undertook further investigations and discovered that many of Park Lane Casino’s top 250 customers did not receive enhanced due diligence checks. As a result, the Commission hit the operator with a £1.8m fine in September last year.