UKGC issues £4.5m in fines to four casino operators
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued penalty charges totaling £4.5m to four online casino operators for failed AML procedures and failures to “prevent money laundering and keep consumers safe from harm”.
The ruling comes as part of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into the online casino sector.
InTouch Games Limited is to pay £2.2m, Betit Operations Limited is to pay £1.4m, MT Secure Trade is to pay £700,000 in lieu of financial penalties, while BestBet must pay £230,972.
The Commission started its investigation 18 months ago and has engaged with 123 operators. Of that number, 45 operators were told to submit an action plan of improvement, while another 34 operators were found to have some very minor non-compliant standards. Those 34 operators have, or are in the process of, fixing those issues.
However, as a result of the investigation, five operators have been forced to surrender their licences and have been banned from interacting with UK based consumers. Three companies were forced to pay £14m in penalty packages in November 2018 due to failures relating to money laundering and protecting consumers from harm.
Speaking about the fines, Richard Watson, executive director at the UKGC, said:
We have been working hard to raise standards in the online industry to ensure that gambling is crime-free and that the one in five people in Britain who gamble online every month can do so safely. But our work will not stop here. As a regulator, we will continue to set and enforce standards that the industry must comply with to protect consumers. We expect operators to know their customers and to ask the right questions to make sure they meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.– Richard Watson, UKGC executive director
All four casino operators have responded with public statements to the fines. You can read their statements via the Gambling Commission’s website.