The gambling industry regulator for the UK, the Gambling Commission, has named and shamed four online casino operators for their behaviour.
What did the Gambling Commission do?
Not only did the regulatory watchdog for the gambling sector reveal publicly the online gaming operators who had been found to not abide by regulations, they also received either a fine or asked for a penalty payment from these four licensees.
Who were the four online casino operators?
As part of a series of probes that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been doing in recent months in order to clampdown on the sector, four online casino operators have been either financially penalised, or instead of being fined they have agreed to make a payment.
The four casino operators who were the subject of this latest probe by the watchdog were InTouch Games Ltd (who receive a fine of over £2.2 million), Betit Operations Ltd (who received a fine totalling £1.4 million) and the latter operators: MT Secure Trade and BestBet received fines respectively of £700k and £231K in total.
Why did these online casino operators get fined?
The gambling regulator called for fines or penalty payments from the aforementioned firms for a number of reasons.
These included a failure to meet social responsibility obligations as outlined by the UKGC, as well as failing to display customer due diligence on its platforms, or failing to pay adequate attention to anti-money laundering.
When did the operation start?
The probe by the UKGC start in April 2018 with a series of risk assessments.
In terms of the operator InTouch, which runs the Mr Spin, PocketWin and mFortune casino brands, the UKGC operations revealed that there was little interest in determining customers’ source of funds, having also set financial triggers so high that most customers were excluded from reporting requirements.
When it came to Betit, which runs Kaboo.com and Highroller.com was found by the UKGC to have absolutely no terrorist financing (MLTF) or money laundering risk assessments in place, with their current assessment found to meet licence requirements.
For MT Secure Trade (who runs the casino websites Rizk.com and Guts.com) the operator came under scrutiny from the commission due to the lack of protocols in place, especially when it came to funds checks. The company was found to not have any at all in force.
For example, one customer of MT Secure Trade deposited over £134k in a 6 month period without triggering any responsible gambling flags, despite depositing on 5 different credit cards, requesting increases on their daily deposit limits and cancelling withdrawals.
Meanwhile, the other company which came under a huge amount of scrutiny was Bestbet (which trades under the name of Best Casino). They became part of the probe in February 2018 by the UKGC.
They found that the firm had no risk-sensitive policies or procedures in place. Many employees lacked training regarding due diligence practices or training regarding AML.