The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently completed an investigation into Grosvenor Casinos’ (Rank Group) anti-money laundering policies and found them to be weak. The broader investigation was spurred by looking into a single customer, Mr Da Feng Ding and one of his associates. In the course of the investigation the commission found that Grosvenors did not understand their responsibilities in regard to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (PoCA) and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. Grosvenors admits to serious shortcomings in their business dealings with Mr. Ding.
In the course of the Ding investigation, another unrelated issue was uncovered involving an online gambler at Mecca Bingo, indicating that the Rank Group’s problems were more wide-spread.
Rank Group cooperated with the commission’s investigations but seemed to be in denial of the reach and severity of their lapses of diligence, initially telling the UGKC investigators that their money laundering procedures were “exemplary”. This stance made it difficult for the company to fully engage the corrections process as they felt their systems were safe. Once this delusion was corrected the company acknowledged their failings at an early stage in regard to the case of the unidentified online gambler. The latter response preempted the need for the commission to begin a full investigation or a formal licence review.
The entire 9 page report including the groups failed responsibilities as well a detailed summary of the investigated matter of Mr. Ding can be found in a public statement by the UKGC in .PDF format entitled, “Rank Group: failures in the area of anti-money laundering and social responsibility” released September 7, 2015.
The UKGC stated in a separate report that quoted in igamingbusiness, “The Commission has agreed the operator’s remedial actions including a third party audit of its revised anti-money laundering arrangements and the surrender of an estimated £950,000 (€1.32m/$1.47m) profits that resulted from these shortcomings, to be spent for agreed socially responsible purposes.”