UK Gambling Commission Slams UK Lotto with $1 Million Fine

EU Lotto that operates Lottoland in the UK was fined $1 million (£760,000) by the Gambling Commission (GC). The GC revealed that the fine was the result of breaches of social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules between October 2019 and November 2020.

GC Fines Operator over Failures to Meet Regulations

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), which is currently under review by the Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group, announced on Thursday that it introduced a $1 million (£760,000) fine to an operator over failures related to anti-money laundering and social responsibility rules. The operator that was fined is EU Lotto, which operates Lottoland in the UK.

Besides the fine, the operator has received a formal warning for the failures. The UKGC unveiled that the issues occurred between October 2019 and November 2020. In addition to the regulatory action, the GC said that the operator will have to undergo extensive independent auditing.

GC’s executive director, Helen Venn, commented on the topic by saying that this case was the result of “planned compliance activity.” She added that the Commission will not hesitate to take action against operators who “fail to meet the high standards we expect for consumers in Britain.”

The Commission Points Examples of Anti-money Laundering and Social Responsibility Failures

The UKGC pointed examples where it found that the operator failed in terms of anti-money laundering rules. According to the GC, the operator did not analyze or effectively review the bank statements provided by clients to prove address.

Moreover, the GC found that UK Lotto did not restrict customer accounts once source of funds (SoF) requests were submitted. Another example of failing anti-money laundering rules pointed out by the GC was regarding payments with debit cards. The GC said that the operator allowed customers to use third-party debit cards, which are with a different name than the customer’s name.

The Commission pointed examples related to social responsibility requirement failures. It found that the operator did not consider markers of harm for customers who have been changing their deposit limits frequently. Additionally, the UKGC pointed out that the operator failed to conduct suitable financial and affordability assessments to identify if a customer is being at risk of harm or already being harmed.

Another example that was pointed out was that there were insufficient interactions with customers. The GC said that customers were contacted via an email that lists the responsible gambling tools but that email did not request a response from the customers.

Lottoland Remains Committed to Meeting the Highest Compliance Standards

Nigel Birrell, Lottoland’s CEO, outlined that the fine from GC was regarding “legacy issues” around some compliance controls. He stressed that those issues have been addressed and added that Lottoland has in-depth compliance measures ensuring that all processes meet the required standards.

Lottoland is fully committed to ensuring the highest standards of compliance, including its anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations in all of the jurisdictions in which it operates.

Nigel Birrell, CEO at Lottoland

Moreover, he said that part of the remedial action to ensure compliance was doubling the staff related to compliance as well as introducing third-party support. Birrell reassured that Lottoland remains fully committed to meeting the highest standard of compliance within all of the jurisdictions where it operates.

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