Posted on: Mar 16, 2020, 6:21 p.m.
Last update on: March 16, 2020, 9:32 a.m.
Struck online betting company MoPlay was promised £ 130million ($ 160million) in financial backing ahead of its 2018 launch. But only £ 60million ($ 74million) came to fruition, leaving the company unable to pay its debts. This emerges from a claim filed this week with the Gibraltar Supreme Court for the liquidation of Gibraltar-based Addison Global, which operates under the name MoPlay.
According to court documents, the company owes £ 2.4million ($ 3million) in taxes and social insurance to the Gibraltar government and £ 16.9million ($ 21million) to other creditors. It is not clear whether the latter figure includes money in player accounts, which are now unlikely to be returned.
Court documents also revealed that the ultimate beneficial owner of Addison Global is Trump donor Roderick Aycox, owner of Atlanta-based Select Management Resources (SMR). Aycox operates a chain of payday lenders and securities lending companies – where borrowers use their cars as collateral for high interest loans – under various brands in the United States, including LoanMax.
Aycox and his wife have spent millions of dollars lobbying for legislation that advances the interests of the payday loan industry in the United States.
Read the fine print
On February 19, the Gambling Licensing Authority of Gibraltar suspended Addison Global’s operating license because it became aware of its financial situation. The British regulator followed suit a day later.
On February 22, MoPlay announced that it was suspending all withdrawals “due to financial difficulties”.
He referred the players to article 9 of his general conditions, which states:
If we ever become insolvent, your funds will not be considered segregated from other business assets and you may not get all of your funds back.
Manchester United owe £ 12million
Regulations in Gibraltar and the UK do not guarantee that players will get their money back in the event of insolvency or require operators to keep player deposits in an account legally controlled by an external auditor, although some operators do.
The regulations simply require an operator to disclose the level of protection it offers to its customer in the event of insolvency.
Many MoPlay customers were based in the UK and are angry at the lack of protection offered by their country’s licensing regulations.
Meanwhile, SMR faces a £ 12million ($ 14.7million) lawsuit from English football giant Manchester United over missed payments linked to a sponsorship deal.
MoPlay became the team’s “official betting partner” in August 2018 and SMR guaranteed the payouts. But payments dried up in early 2019, according to Manchester United’s costume.