Social responsibility and AML failings will cost five UK casino operators a combined fee upwards of £1m ($1.4m) after the UKGC’s most recent rulings. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A hefty price for operators
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has taken regulatory action against five land-based casino operators following an investigation into their procedures. The national regulator found that their casinos breached social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) rules, prompting more than £1m ($1.4m) in regulatory settlements and fines.
The UKGC took to Twitter to publicize the findings of its investigation:
Clockfair Limited and Shaftesbury Casino Limited have agreed to a regulatory settlement of £260,000 ($357,904) each. Les Croupiers Casino Limited and Double Diamond Gaming Limited will pay settlements of £202,500 ($278,774) and £247,000 ($340,036), respectively. Meanwhile, A&S Leisure Group Limited has received a warning and will pay a £377,340 ($519,470) fine.
an ongoing drive to raise standards across the whole gambling industry.”
Richard Watson, executive director of the UKGC, described the investigation as “part of an ongoing drive to raise standards across the whole gambling industry.” He urged other operators to help prevent crime and increase gambling safety by following regulations.
A long list of offenses
In a series of public statements posted to its website Wednesday, the UKGC included the details of each regulatory settlement. All of the casino operators registered failings in both AML and safer gambling.
Clockfair Limited’s case relates back to concerns raised in July 2019. In one instance, a customer deposited more than £723,000 ($995,632), incurring losses of £39,000 ($53,706). The player continued to gamble for two years after Clockfair requested additional source of funds information.
Similarly, Shaftesbury Casino Limited permitted multiple customers to continue to gamble despite their deposits raising AML concerns. One player added more than £2m ($2.8m) to their account between 2011 and 2019 without a request for further information regarding source of funds.
one 22-year-old gambled away around £20,000 ($27,524) over a six-month period
In addition to AML failings, Les Croupiers Casino failed to make contact with customers deemed high-risk of problem gambling. The company made no attempts at interaction when one 22-year-old gambled away around £20,000 ($27,524) over a six-month period. The UKGC found similar failings in Double Diamond Gaming Limited’s safer gambling measures.
One fine out of five
Out of the five casino operators, A&S Leisure was the only offender not to agree to a regulatory settlement, instead receiving an official warning and fine. The UKGC listed the reasons for this £377,340 ($519,674) penalty in the most recent update to its sanctions register.
Similar to the other four operators, the Napoleons Casinos owner failed to meet AML and safer gambling requirements. This included failing to promptly interact with customers who incurred considerable losses and insufficient record keeping in regards to customer interactions.
Despite dishing out the hefty fine, the UKGC said A&S Leisure cooperated with the investigation and made no attempt to conceal its failings.