The Sun Play closed after operator breaches licence conditions

  • Updated
  • By Max Jenner
Sun Play closed
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Gambling brand The Sun Play has been shut down after its operator’s licence was suspended by the Gambling Commission earlier this year.

The brand’s loss does not come as a surprise given the financial woes faced by its embattled operator Nektan over the past couple of years.

Gibraltar-based Nektan, which was responsible for running several bingo and casino sites including Winners Club and Jackpot Casino, was removed from the London Stock Exchange last year after the company failed to report its annual accounts for 2019. Shortly after this, in April 2020, the platform went into administration. In the midst of this process the company sold off its UK business-to-consumer assets for £200,000 to Grace Media, a white-label subsidiary of digital marketing agency ActiveWin, hoping to use the money to aid the administration process.

An investigation is now pending following the announcement by the Gambling Commission of a Section 116 review under the Gambling Act 2005. The suspension of Nektan’s licence now means that, as of 27th April, any gambling services that it provides are effectively illegal, although it must still maintain communication with customers and pay out winnings.

The Sun Play was set up following a deal struck between Nektan and Rupert Murdoch’s News UK corporation in 2015. It was run through Nektan’s mobile gaming platform Evolve.

Players will now no doubt be looking for alternative platforms following the site’s closure. The Sun Vegas, the other major online casino platform bearing the tabloid’s name and run by a different operator, remains available. Players looking for more platforms to try out might want to check out our list of the best online casino sites to discover the latest good deals.

As for recovering funds in players’ accounts, Nektan has stated that ‘steps have been taken to protect customer funds but there is no absolute guarantee that all funds will be repaid in the event of insolvency’ — a somewhat encouraging but not entirely reassuring statement. Nonetheless, the company’s policy is in line with the ‘medium’ level of protection designated by the Gambling Commission which offers certain safeguards.

To resolve any dispute regarding their funds, players can consult the two regulatory bodies nominated by Nektan: the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) and the European Commission’s official Online Dispute Resolution platform.