In the United Kingdom and a trio of iGaming firms have reportedly been heavily fined and placed under a revised set of operating conditions after being found wanting with regards to their anti-money laundering and social responsibility duties.
According to a report from iGamingBusiness.com, the move from the Gambling Commission regulator involving GameAccount Network, BGO Entertainment Limited and NetBet Enterprises Limited followed the conclusion of three separate investigations that had uncovered multiple failings. The source detailed that the trio have now been ordered to pay a range of financial penalties totalling over $3.81 million and implement a selection of enhanced due diligence and responsible gambling controls.
The examination launched in September of last year into BGO Entertainment Limited reportedly determined that the Guernsey-based firm had been deficient in its interactions with customers from an anti-money-laundering and social responsibility perspective. The enquiry purportedly found that the firm behind the domains at PowerSpins.com and BGO.com had also failed to effectively apply procedures and policies for those exhibiting signs of problem gambling by allowing one potentially vulnerable punter to wager six-figure amounts without taking action.
BGO Entertainment Limited was moreover reportedly found to have not conducted adequate source of funding and enhanced due diligence checks after failing to act in numerous cases including one where a player had deposited more than five times their annual salary. The operator will now purportedly be required to conduct comprehensive appraisals of its top 250 customers every year and regularly track the subsequent effectiveness of any such campaigns.
Regarding GameAccount Network and the source reported that the Gambling Commission regulator determined that the London-headquartered firm had similarly failed in its duty to protect vulnerable players and implement adequate anti-money laundering safeguards. The operator’s WinStar.com domain was furthermore purportedly found to be unable to conduct adequate breach reviews because it had earlier shirked suitable risk assessments as well as appropriate precautions.
The January investigation into GameAccount Network reportedly found that these deficiencies had allowed at least one customer to utilize bank accounts registered under different names as their proof of funds while another had escaped sufficient scrutiny into their declared cryptocurrency assets. The iGaming enterprise has now purportedly been instructed to ensure all of its money laundering reporting officers or their deputies secure suitable qualifications including a Personal Management Licence and additionally join senior management and key control staff in attending annual anti-money laundering refresher courses.
Finally, NetBet Enterprises Limited was reportedly likewise chastised after failing in its duties with regards to the prevention of money laundering and the potential financing of terrorism. The Gambling Commission’s examination purportedly found that the Maltese operator behind the NetBet.co.uk family of sites had also botched enhanced due diligence checks on some at-risk players and did not always adequately review source of funds documentation or intervene when required.
Going forward and NetBet Enterprises Limited has reportedly been asked to make a number of changes to the way it operates including monitoring the login times of its players under assessment and not factoring wins into any such appraisals. The operator is to moreover purportedly be required to log the effectiveness of any interactions, place automatic limits on those who may be displaying signs of problem gambling and launch an affordability calculator so that punters can accurately assess their disposable income.
Reportedly read a statement from the Gambling Commission…
“Licensees must protect consumers from harm and treat them fairly. Our recent investigations uncovered a variety of consumer protection and anti-money laundering failings at each of these three operators and as a result we are using a range of enforcement tools against them. We will continue to crack down on failing operators through our tough and proactive compliance and enforcement work.”