Last week a letter was sent to all gambling operators by the UK Gambling Commission setting out their expectations around tackling money laundering and social responsibility.
The letter, which can be read here, summarises the findings of recent compliance assessment activity that has been happening which focused on remove casino operators’ anti-money laundering and customer interaction.
It continues by telling how 17 remote operators are currently under investigation and five are under consideration as to whether a licence review is required under section 116 of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act). The UK Gambling Commission could choose to exercise their regulatory powers under 117 of the Act.
The letter states that there appear to be some common themes in the failings by operator, failings that have caused significant concerns about how effectively the Casino sector manages and mitigates risks in the licensing objective.
Already several gambling operators have received hefty fines around the social responsibility failures and once again, this letter questions their lack of contact with customers.
Operators were given a list of tasks that they now have to undertake to review their money laundering and social responsibility policies.
Sarah Harrison, The Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive is quoted as having said
It is vital that the gambling industry takes its duty to protect consumers and keep crime out of gambling seriously. The Gambling Commission’s new strategy sets out our vision for a fairer and safer gambling market.
The action we are taking to examine online casino operators’ compliance with money laundering and customer interaction requirements is just one example of how we will be relentless in turning that vision into reality.
As the online sector continues to grow, and now accounts for a third of the British gambling market, it is right that we maintain a sharp focus on online gambling.
That is why in addition to our work on compliance among online casino operators, we have also been conducting a wider ranging review of online gambling looking at how the market has evolved and to identify where further action can be taken to make gambling fairer and safer for consumers.
Just a couple of days after the letter was sent to operators, a national newspaper printed a story of how LeoVegas ‘offered a gambling addict £100 to rejoin betting website’.
Further investigation of the story reveals that actually, the site offered the player his winnings from a promotion he had entered prior to exclusion but the timing of this story is not great for the operator in question!
As yet we don’t know which operators are being investigated, or under licence review but we’re sure more on this story will be available over the coming weeks.