A telephone betting service marketing itself as offering a premium service has had its licence suspended by the Gambling Commission.
Goldchip is being investigated for suspected breaches of the 2005 Gambling Act concerning anti-money laundering and social responsibility.
A Gambling Commission statement reassured Goldchip clients they were still entitled to contact the company to make withdrawals. The statement read: “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.
“The suspension does not prevent the operator from allowing consumers to access their accounts and withdrawing funds.”
Suspension is a relatively rare sanction on the part of the Gambling Commission. The last recorded instance concerned Triplebet, the parent company of the Matchbook exchange, back in February 2020.
Triplebet paid a £740,000 fine and had its licence reinstated in August of the same year, having taken steps to address the failures identified in the investigation.
Goldchip was founded by Stephen Smith – then a business associate of prominent owner Michael Owen – offering an exclusive service to high-profile personalities, including a number of footballers.
In 2006 Goldchip appeared in tabloid headlines in a dispute over a reported £700,000 worth of gambling debts accrued by England international Wayne Rooney. In 2018 they launched their first digital offering.
Goldchip was contacted for comment on Wednesday but has yet to respond.