July 8, 2024 3 min read

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Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

Gibraltar Regulator Doubts Legal Standing in Mansion Group Investigation

The Gibraltar gaming commissioner reportedly deemed recent allegations against the defunct gaming group as "very historical" and questioned the legal authority of the regulator in the case

Recent claims about alleged unlawful conduct tabled by Mansion Group’s former CEO left a series of questions unanswered despite the company’s decision to seize operations dating back to October.

Karel Manasco, an executive with solid experience joined the company back in October 2010. Although he started as CFO at Mansion Group, in 2017, he was named CEO, while retaining his CFO position. However, after an internal probe by the company, Manasco resigned late in 2021.

That was approximately two years ahead of the announcement about the shutdown of the Mansion Group’s operations. In October last year, the company said that it would cease all business-to-customer gaming operations for its two flagship brands, MansionCasino.com and Casino.com

Early last month, Mansion Group’s former CEO alleged the company engaged in unlawful practices, including an activity described as “grey area gaming.” The allegations came as a part of a report released by The Olive Press, with Manasco alleging that the company evaded taxes in several countries, breached established regulations and offered its services in jurisdictions where it doesn’t hold a license.

In addition, the former boss of the gaming firm claimed that it offered online gambling in jurisdictions where the activity wasn’t legal. Manasco’s claims involved a number of European countries, including Germany, Austria, as well as Belgium and France, among others.

With that in mind, in February 2023, ahead of Mansion Group’s announced closure, the Supreme Court of Gibraltar issued a £5 million ($6.4 million) asset freeze order against Manasco. The order followed a request made by Mansion Group itself.

The allegations were denied by the company’s lawyer, who was recently interviewed by NEXT.io. The lawyer said that Mansion Group “vehemently denied” the allegations of the former CEO and described the report released by The Olive Press as one that makes “sensationalized, unsubstantiated and factually wrong allegations against various entities and individuals.” The Group’s lawyer refrained from disclosing further information, saying that legal actions mandate an “interim privacy regime.”

On the other hand, Andrew Lyman, the Gibraltar gaming commissioner, acknowledged that the regulator is aware of the allegations made by Mansion Group’s former CEO. In an interview for NEXT.io, the commissioner said that in light of the ongoing legal actions, “it would be inappropriate to make any detailed comment as to any allegations which may arise therein at this time.”

Lyman described some of the claims made by Manasco as “very historical,” and pointed out that the company no longer has a license in Gibraltar. This, according to the commissioner, questions whether the gambling regulator has the authority to investigate such allegations against the now-defunct gaming firm.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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