A raffle to win a pub and restaurant in Walsall had to be cancelled at the last minute when enquiries from the Gambling Commission led to complications.
Judith Hanly, owner of the Arbor Lights was due to hand over the business to the competition's winner on August 14, but decided to pull the plug because she said obstacles posed by the regulator would have meant extending the competition's deadline by another 12 weeks.
Hanly said the biggest problem was that online payment providers could not accept the £25 fee from entrants until enquiries by the Gambling Commission were answered, so payments were not being processed through the competition website.
"You couldn't get any answers off anybody, nobody would tell you why you couldn't process the payments. Nobody would tell you anything, that was the problem," she said.
Hanly considered extending the competition for another 12 weeks, but said it would have brought about administration difficulties.
"It's something you don't go into overnight, you do your research, and you work on it for about six months before you go live with it. It's not something you turn around and say ‘next week we're going to do this,’ because it takes a lot of time to set these things up. We decided it was better to cut our losses," she said.
The landlady will now put the property on the market while her husband runs the business.
"I am sure that the right person will come along who has the enthusiasm, dedication and drive to take over what has been my dream job for so many years," she added.
All monies are in the process of being refunded to entrants. and this should be completed by the end of next week.