An investigation into Mr. Green’s operations in Sweden has resulted in a $3.62 million fine awarded to the casino and recommendations for improving current KYC and AML practices.
Mr. Green Faces Some Challenges with Sweden’s Regulator
Casino brand Mr. Green has been fined SEK31.5 million ($3.62 million) by the Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) for allegedly failing to comply with the country’s anti-money laundering regulation in the iGaming sector.
The watchdog argued that Mr. Green has come short of applying the necessary KYC and AML standards that allow operators to determine if a player can afford to gamble money in the first place, which in turn protects vulnerable consumers, as well as ensures that casinos do not unwittingly launder money for terrorist organizations or entities under financial sanctions.
In a statement, Spelinspektionen explained that Mr. Green did not carry out sufficient risk-management practices as required by legislation. Based on the regulator’s probe, there was a significant risk of Mr. Green having used illegitimate funds.
Spelinspektionen said that Mr. Green did not make sufficient effort in communicating with consumers depositing over SEK10,000 ($1,150). The watchdog stipulated that Mr. Green had run those systematic risks for a long time, and because of that, the regulator had to issue a sterner response that factored in the level of transgression, the brand’s revenue, and other elements.
In certain cases, the Swedish gambling regulator discovered a lack of sufficient information regarding wealth and origin of funds and even alleged that certain customers have been able to play despite having criminal offenses in the past. Another issue the regulator raised was that several customers incurred losses that exceeded their income.
Looking into Mr. Green’s Clientele
To Mr. Green’s credit, the operator did contact the country’s financial police in the case of several customers who were suspected of attempting to use the casino to launder money. There was an investigation into several customer accounts that have deposited over SEK1 million ($11,500) and one customer who deposited SEK39.3 million ($4.5 million).
Mr. Green did try to contact five customers regarding responsible gambling practices after the casino saw an increase in their overall spending, which complies with the state-mandated rules.
One of the customers, though, was able to continue making deposits throughout a single day that were an indicator of problem gambling behavior, Spelinspektionen concluded. That same consumer had lost more than their taxable income, the investigation clarified.
The investigation further established that there had been a number of customers who seemed to have lost three times their annual income within a year of play at Mr. Green. The operator has responded by explaining that some of the suspected cases of money laundering failed to turn up on an automated system the casino used, but it assured Spelinspektionen that the necessary measures had been taken to improve that and a new solution has already been introduced.
Immediately after implementation, many suspected customer accounts have been flagged, with the accounts immediately put in a waiting line for their level of risk to be assessed. Mr. Green assured that its new measures would allow the casino to be much more selective about its customers and take immediate action if users fail to reply to phone or email.