Online gambling has been growing in recent years, but proportionally to the number of sites, players and revenues, it is also the number of fines applied by the regulators.
Online Gambling Fines
Just recently a fine of £14m was applied by the UK Gambling Commission to three online casino companies after being verified that the systems conceived to prevent money-laundering in the sector, as well as to help problem gamblers, had failings.
Daub Alderney will have to pay a sum close to £7 million, Casumo £6 million, and Videoslots around £1 million, while six other companies are still under investigation.
Summing all these values we find that this is the biggest collective fine ever applied by the casino industry regulator, surpassing the £7.8 fine applied to 888 Casinos, as it was proven that over 7.000 people who had banned themselves from gambling were, after all, allowed to continue to make their online bets.
This is a strong position taken by the regulator, passing on the clear message that their prime concern is to protect vulnerable players, and it should also be a concern for the online operators and that failing to do so will have consequences.
The British market has requirements for the operators that aim to safeguard the players, but also to prevent money-laundering, a general requirement for any business.
This hardest possible measure taken against failure to comply with these measures is a confirmation of the trend from the last years, when millions of pounds worth in fines have been issued to William Hill, Paddy Power, SkyBet and Ladbrokes.
The goal of these fines is to force the operators and individuals working for those operators to apply the existing policies and procedures, making sure they understand their social and anti-money laundering responsibilities.
The £6.2 fine at William Hill followed the same pattern indicated above, it happened due to failure to protect the consumers and money laundering prevention, for a period of two years of investigation, having the company failed to spot problem gambling signs, breaching the existing regulations.
The gambling regulator was able to determine flaws in the senior management and staff of William Hill, in what concerns their online operations, leading to £1.2 gains from deposits associated to criminal offences.
The lack of security checks allowed users to gamble using money proceeding from crime, namely one particular customer who deposited £541.000 pounds over a 14 months period, when his income for that period would be £365.000. Further investigation determined that this customer was stealing money to fund his gambling habits.
The fine of £6.2 breaks down into £5 million for failing to comply with regulations and £1.2 for the money earned from illegal transaction. A William Hill’s executive reinforced that the company co-operated with the commission during this entire process, and that new policies were introduced to avoid the same situations from happening again in the future.
A similar situation happened with firm 888, which also failed protection for vulnerable customers and got hit by a £7.8 fine.