The Gambling Commission in the UK released the details of a new investigation on Thursday this week. The watchdog found that Greentube Alderney, a company that operates bellfruitcasino.com as well as admiralcasino.co.uk has breached the prevention of money laundering and social responsibility rules.
GC Investigated Breaches by Greentube Alderney
The investigation by the Gambling Commission found that the breaches occurred between December 2019 and November 2020. During that period, the GC said that the operator failed to implement anti-money laundering (AML) policies, controls, and procedures. The Commission said that the operator did not carry out a source of wealth after identifying a politically exposed person (PEP). Instead, according to the GC, the operator carried out the necessary checks only after the individual had hit a £1,000 ($1,330) deposit limit. The GC explained that this action was in breach of Money Laundering Regulations 2017.
Additionally, the GC found that Greentube had “weaknesses in its reporting arrangements.” The Commission found that the operator “failed to submit key events to the Commission within 5 working days of submission of six suspicious activity reports (SARs) to the National Crime Agency.”
Last but not least, the investigation found that the operator failed to comply with the social responsibility code provision (SRCP). As per the code, each licensee must interact with its consumers in a way that minimizes the risk of gambling harm. Consumers that may be at risk or experiencing gambling-related harms must be identified and contacted by the licensees.
The Operator Received a Fine for the Breaches
In its announcement, the GC acknowledged multiple mitigation factors. It said that the operator has been cooperative with the Commission and recognized its failings early. Moreover, the operator has taken the necessary steps to remedy the breaches. As a result, a regulatory settlement between Greentube and the GC was reached.
The operator received a financial penalty of £685,000 ($911,440) over the breaches. The GC said that the fine will be “directed towards delivering the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.” Additionally, the operator will be eligible for paying £8,789.86 ($10,694), which is the cost related to investigating the case by the Commission.
“Taking into account remedial action taken by Greentube and in line with our Statement of principles for licensing and regulation, Greentube will pay a total of £685,000 in lieu of a financial penalty.”Gambling Commission
Last but not least, the operator agreed to undergo a third-party audit to ensure compliance with the Licensing codes of practice within twelve months. The result of the audit is expected to be shared with the Commission.
The news about the financial penalty come after last week, during the 2021 Bacta Annual Convention, the GC reaffirmed its commitment to safer gambling. Back then, GC’s deputy chief executive officer, Sarah Gardener revealed what progress the Commission has made recently. She also outlined that since 2017/18, more than $133 million penalties have been imposed. According to Gardener, having fairer, safer, and crime-free gambling in the country remains a key priority for the Commission.