Gambling Commission issues £2.8m in penalties to three operators
Three online gambling operators have been investigated by the Gambling Commission for social responsibility and money laundering failures as part of the Commission’s ongoing drive to raise standards through tough enforcement action.
BGO Entertainment Limited, GAN PLC and NetBet Enterprises Limited were all subject to licence reviews following a number of failures which included not doing enough to keep consumers safe and failing to prevent money laundering and criminal spend.
As a result of those reviews, two of the businesses, BGO and Gan PLC, have had new conditions imposed on their licences and all three will now improve their policies and procedures as well as making payments to progress the work of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. The Commission will also be reviewing the actions of the individual Personal Management Licence holders in all three of these cases
Richard Watson, executive director at the Gambling Commission, said: “Licensees must protect consumers from harm and treat them fairly. Our recent investigations uncovered a variety of consumer protection and anti-money laundering failings at each of these three operators and as a result we are using a range of enforcement tools against them. We will continue to crack down on failing operators through our tough and proactive compliance and enforcement work.”
BGO Entertainment Limited
BGO failed to have effective policies and procedures in place for customers who may be displaying signs of problem gambling between 25 September 2018 and 23 March 2020. It also failed to have effective and adequately resourced anti-money laundering controls in place between 25 September 2018 and 21 July 2020.
As a consequence BGO will have additional conditions imposed on its licence which involve carrying out extra social responsibility and anti-money laundering checks on its top customers. The business will also pay £2m to support the implementation of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
Between August 2018 to September 2019 GAN failed to comply with four licence conditions focused on social responsibility and anti-money laundering. Failures included having ineffective anti-money laundering policies and procedures, not displaying warnings that underage gambling is an offence on its website and poor customer interaction guidance.
As a consequence GAN will have additional conditions imposed on its licence which involve continued reviewal of the effectiveness and implementation of its AML and SR policies, procedures and controls, and extra training for personal management licence holders and senior staff. The business will also pay £146,000 to progress the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
NetBet Enterprises Limited
Between 20 November 2018 and 29 May 2019 NetBet failed to comply with two licence conditions focused on social responsibility and anti-money laundering. Failures included not carefully scrutinising source of funds documentation provided by customers and not implementing its responsible gambling policy effectively.
As a consequence NetBet will make a number of changes to its processes including giving greater regard to the log-in time of its customers during responsible gambling customer assessments, automatic limits placed on customers demonstrating early signs of problem gambling and providing consumers with access to an affordability calculator.
The business will also pay £748,000 to progress the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.