The UK Gambling Commission has announced that Caesars Entertainment accepted to pay a mammoth £13 million penalty for systemic failings with regards to social responsibility, money laundering and customer interaction. Three senior members of management have also lost their Personal Management Licenses /PML/ due to the failures that happened between 2016 and 2018.
Putting Customer Safety First
The operator of 11 land-based gaming facilities in the UK has been found in breach of its social interaction processes with clients on multiple occasions.
In one case, a client the casino was aware had previously self-excluded from gambling by registering with Self-Enrolment National Self-Exclusion /SENSE/ in 2016, but deregistered two years later,was allowed to drop around £820,000 and lose over a 13-month period £240,000 of it. Another client that had also self-excluded, to the awareness of the casino, was allowed to drop £335,000 over a period of 6 months and lose £65,000, having 54 visits in 13 months, playing in excess of 5 hours in 14 sessions and in excess of 10 hours for 3 sessions.
In another case pointed out by the Gambling Commission, a customer that had a buy-in of more than £1 million had clearly shown signs of gambling addiction while playing, as more than 30 of the customer’s playing sessions exceeded 5 hours. The client lost circa £323,000 in a 12-month period with no adequate casino interaction throughout.
Another casino customer who was allowed by the casino management to have a buy-in of £430,000 during a 12-month period and lose around £112,000 of it, with no appropriate source of funds to prove whether the level of spend was affordable, as the casino relied on information dating back 11 years.
Two other clients who were identified as “nanny’’ and retired “postman” were allowed buy-ins of £185,000 and £60,000, losing £40,000 during a 30-month period and over £15,000 for a span of 44 days, respectively. In the first case, gambling continued despite the knowledge that it was with borrowed money from family and overdraft facility, while in the other the casino was aware of the fact the client had been self-excluded for 6 months prior, as well as having a history of periods of self-exclusion before.
Money Laundering Risk
In terms of money laundering, the Gambling Commission outlined 6 cases, among which a drop of circa £800,000 with a loss of circa £795,000 during a 13-month period, by a politically exposed person /PEP/ by association and as high risk, a drop of £3.5 million, £1.6 million loss, over a period of 3 months, the casino due diligence reliant on a company business card, heavily redacted company bank statements and open internet searches, as well as a “waitress” who was allowed to buy-in for around £87,000, £15,000 loss, over 12 months, a level of spend unaffordable for the stated occupation.
The £13 million sanction imposed on Caesars Entertainment is the latest in a series of enforcement actions of the Gambling Commission, after it had placed hefty fines, £3 million to Mr.Green and £11.6 million to Betway, amounting to £27 million paid in penalties by the industry.