The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has announced that it has accessed fines totaling over £4.5 million ($5.7 million) against four online gaming operators as part of an ongoing investigation into the locally-licensed iGaming sector.
The regulatory body used an official Wednesday press release to detail that the previous 18 months had seen it engage with or assess some 123 license holders while it identified the latest quartet of offending firms as InTouch Games Limited, Betit Operations Limited, MT SecureTrade Limited and BestBet Limited.
Anti-money laundering efforts:
In the case of InTouch, the Commission explained that it has assessed a financial penalty of £2.2 million ($2.8 million) after identifying ‘weaknesses’ in the firm’s anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls. It declared that the Birmingham-based operator behind a number of mobile-friendly online casino brands including mFortune.co.uk and MrSpin.co.uk had not carried out an effective anti-money laundering risk assessment of its business and had also failed to proactively identify and mitigate the possibility that its players may develop a gambling problem.
The regulator’s press release proclaimed that it has moreover ordered Malta-headquartered Betit Operations Limited, which runs the United Kingdom-licensed online casinos at Kaboo.com and HighRoller.com, to pay a £1.4 million ($1.8 million) fine for similar breaches as well as for a failure to report a change in the identity of the person filling its Money Laundering Reporting Officer role.
Regarding MT SecureTrade Limited, the Commission detailed that the operator responsible for the domains at Guts.com and Rizk.com has voluntarily agreed to contribute some £592,333 ($757,836) towards the work of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy in lieu of a financial penalty. It explained that it had found the Maltese firm similarly wanting when it came to anti-money laundering and customer protection measures and that the enterprise is to additionally hand over approximately $107,600 ($137,600) to compensate victims of suspicious betting activities.
Finally, the regulator declared that has assessed a financial penalty of £230,972 ($295,488) against BestBet Limited after the firm behind BestCasino.com was found to have breached its anti-money laundering and customer protection protocols.
Richard Watson, Executive Director for the UKGC, proclaimed that his organization has ‘been working hard to raise standards in the online industry’ so as to ensure that the sector ‘is crime-free’ and offers aficionados the ability to gamble safely.
Watson’s statement read…
“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.”