The UK Gambling Commission recently found out that SkillOnNet Limited committed various breaches related to social responsibility and money laundering rules. The Commission issued a fine of £305.150 to the company, which will have to be paid as a part of the settlement between the company and the Commission. All of the money will be used for socially responsible causes.
A huge fine after huge successes:
Besides the initial £305.150, SkillOnNet will also have to pay £9.079 to cover the expenses of the investigation.
The company is very successful in the British market, with 50 websites that are currently run by SkillOnNet. But it seems the company wasn’t so successful in complying with the License Conditions and Codes of Practice.
The breaches occurred in 2022, in the period from January to December. Various policies, procedures, and controls weren’t in order with the current anti-money laundering and responsible gambling policies.
The license condition 12.1.1 was violated since the company didn’t monitor the real risks of being used for various money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Last year, customers were receiving payments from various unknown third parties, and these payments weren’t properly monitored. One more thing that wasn’t properly tracked is accounts related to organized crime groups.
The customers were able to spend their money uncontrollably, without any double checkers of their wealth and salary, so the amounts they used for gambling weren’t expected compared to their earnings in many cases. The only monitoring that was conducted was from verbal communication, as well as monetary thresholds when it was too late.
Customers that were at risk of being included in money laundering weren’t monitored, and the company didn’t notify the Commission of their presence on websites.
The limit to deposit and lose on all SkillOnNet’s websites was £2.000. However, customers didn’t stick to it, so the amounts that were flowing through the company were much larger than expected.
The license condition 12.1.2 was also violated, which means the company didn’t comply with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Transfer of Funds Regulations from 2017.
Besides the increased risk of money laundering, the company also violated paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Social Responsibility Code Provision. SkillOnNet had to communicate with customers, and they didn’t do such a thing.
The customers weren’t closely monitored, so they were able to gamble on big amounts of money, and the customers who had the potential to become problem gamblers weren’t successfully identified as expected. Automated alerts that warn the customers about potential problem gambling were activated, but they didn’t have any major effect on players.
The space for improvement:
SkillOnNet agreed to improve its procedures and policies related to the issue. Independent audits will monitor all the actions the company conducts in order to improve its business. As the Commission stated, the company is completely committed to establishing healthy relationships with its customers. SkillOnNet admitted all breaches and failures.