Gambling Commission suspends PlayerFT licence over Gamstop failures

Fiveyards allows customers to buy and sell footballers for real money.
Fiveyards allows customers to buy and sell footballers for real money.

The British Gambling Commission has suspended the licence of PlayerFT, which operates the fantasy sports brand Fiveyards.

UK- The British regulator, the Gambling Commission, has suspended the licence of fantasy sports operator PlayerFT for failing to connect to the Gamstop self-exclusion system. The suspension comes into force immediately, but customers can access accounts to make withdrawals.

PlayerFT operates the virtual football transfer service Fiveyards. The Gambling Commission said that it was suspending the operator’s licence under Section 118(2) of the Gambling Act due to concerns that it may have breached licence terms.

The regulator said that PlayerFT had failed to connect to the national self-exclusion system Gamstop, something that has been an obligation for all British gaming licensees since March 31 2020.

The Gambling Commission said: “We have made it clear to the operator that during the course of the suspension, we expect it to focus on treating consumers fairly and keeping them fully informed of any developments which impact them.”

Football trading markets

Fiveyards allows customers to buy and sell footballers for real money, and to write scout reports, recommending players to other customers. Like the ill-fated Football Index and Footstock, the platform has been described as blurring the lines between gambling and investment, with some criticising the Gambling Commission’s licensing of the operator.

Football Index went into administration in March and is now the subject of a government inquiry into both its product and the Gambling Commission’s regulation of it.

Footstock surrendered its British licence shortly afterwards, saying that it had suffered significant investment setbacks because the “whole sector has been shaken” by the collapse of Football Index.

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