Date: 19.06.2024

by Adam Dworak

888 Romania’s Gaming License Temporarily Suspended by ONJN

Evoke plc’s 888 Romania Limited subsidiary experienced a 48-hour suspension of its gaming license in Romania from June 14 to June 16. This action stemmed from an investigation by ONJN, Romania’s gambling regulator, into Evoke’s decision to block several customer accounts due to suspected betting integrity violations.

Investigation and Response

The accounts in question were suspended by Evoke after receiving alerts from the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) flagging suspicious bets. Romanian customers attempting to access the portal during this period were met with a maintenance notice that read:

“Our website is currently closed, we apologise for any inconvenience caused. We are performing maintenance work to improve the user experience. Rediscover the magic on 888 starting 16-06-2024 at 00:00 AM. Thank you for your understanding. Team 888 Romania.”

Regulatory Requirements

ONJN concluded that Evoke should have notified competent state bodies about the blocked accounts, as these bodies are best positioned to investigate suspected betting integrity violations.

Under normal circumstances, operators have ten days to investigate such breaches before contacting state authorities. This period can be extended by five days if third-party suppliers conduct the checks, or until the investigation is completed if ordered by competent authorities.

During the investigation, the players’ accounts were reactivated, and their winnings were transferred to them. ONJN praised Evoke for its cooperation throughout the investigation.

Evoke plc, owner of William Hill, is not the first major international gambling operator to face sanctions from the Romanian regulator. In 2015, ONJN revoked bet365’s license. The Stoke-based operator filed a legal challenge against the ruling, but the Bucharest Appeals Court rejected it in 2016.