The beleaguered iGaming software firm Nektan has been stripped of its licence by the UK Gambling Commission to compound the year from hell for the operator.
The Commission has been conducting a thorough investigation into the Gibraltar based firm, and its findings are that Nektan has breached the conditions of its licence and its ‘licensed activities are being or have been carried on in a manner which is inconsistent with the licensing objectives.’
It has been deemed necessary to suspend their licence with immediate effect, with the Commission confirming:
“We have made it clear to the operator that it must communicate effectively with its customers, and that the suspension does not prevent it paying out winnings.”
It completes a miserable year for the mobile casino specialist, who were forced to sell the B2C arm of their business in 2020 after calling in the administrators to sort out their dire financial position.
The Year from Hell
Founded in 2011, Nektan established itself as both a direct casino software provider to players – some of its most prominent brands included PlayUK.com, Monster Casino and Spins Royale – and as a white label solution to other firms in the iGaming sector.
They enjoyed plenty of success and were the go-to for many big names in the industry to supply their casino solutions too – BetVictor signing on the dotted line with Nektan in 2018.
There were rumblings of discontent in 2019, however, when CEO Lucy Buckley stepped down with immediate effect after less than a year in the role, while global expansion plans in Africa and Latin America ran into a number of legislative obstacles.
The worst fears were realised when Nektan ran into well-documented financial woes at the start of 2020. They were forced to sell the B2C side of their business to Grace Media in January of that year for a total of £200,000 – only £50,000 was paid up front, however, with the rest of the money paid monthly based on the firm satisfying a number of pre-arranged KPIs.
Nektan were also forced to withdraw from trading on London’s AIM exchange – a stock market that’s designed to help small companies access public investment. That came after they failed to publish their audited annual accounts for 2019 on time.
The administrators were called in thereafter, as company officials confirmed that they had been unable to secure the necessary funding that would have allowed Nektan to continue operating effectively.
That was despite them reporting turnover of £19.4 million during the 2018/19 financial year – somehow, they were still operating at a loss. Their financial viability was not aided by a huge £5.6 million remote gaming duty tax bill issued to them by HMRC.
As part of those cost-cutting measures, Nektan were forced to sell their B2B arm as well – Real-Time Strategic Marketing Ltd acquiring the rights and rebranding as Markor Technology.
The restructuring sees Nektan continue to provide BN2B solutions to Grace Media under their ongoing partnership, however for the time being that venture is on the backburner as the troubled firm seeks to overturn their licence suspension.