In the United Kingdom, three licensed online casino operators have reportedly been fined by the Gambling Commission regulator to the combined tune of almost £14 million ($17.8 million) after they were found not to have implemented ‘effective safeguards’ to protect players and prevent money laundering.
According to a Thursday reports from The Independent newspaper and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the fines come after recent figures showed an increase in the prevalence of television and online gambling adverts alongside a rise in the number of underage gamblers. The action moreover saw the regulator suspend the license of Malta-based CZ Holdings, which operates the domain at DrVegas.com, and issue nine other firms with letters regarding their future conduct.
Inadequate customer monitoring:
Daub Alderney Limited, which is responsible for over 100 online brands including the site at LuckyVIP.com, was reportedly one of those ordered to pay a fine with its punishment amounting to around £7.1 million ($9 million). This came after the Gambling Commission deemed as inadequate the Guernsey-headquartered firm’s customer monitoring procedures.
Problem gambling prevention:
Also reportedly penalized was the operator behind the online casino at Casumo.com, Casumo Services Limited, after an investigation begun in January determined that it had failed to properly check and monitor its players. The Maltese firm was ordered to hand over in excess of £5.8 million ($7.4 million) after it was found to have not taken appropriate action in response to a trio of customers that had shown possible signs of problem gambling.
Money laundering concerns:
Finally, Panda Media Limited, which runs the online casino at VideoSlots.com, was fined to the tune of £1 million ($1.2 million) over allegations that it had not properly carried out customer identity checks. In one case highlighted by the Gambling Commission, a player had purportedly registered multiple fraudulent credit cards with the site utilizing a bogus driving license before going on to deposit some £17,405 ($22,217).
Operators must ‘sit up and pay attention’:
Neil McArthur, Chief Executive for the Gambling Commission, declared that he hoped the fines would prompt online casino firms to ‘sit up and pay attention’ after the regulator found that ‘a large number of operators and their senior management’ had not been meeting their obligations.
McArthur’s statement reportedly read…
“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.”