UKGC Adds New License Conditions in GAN, NetBet, and BGO Probes

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has investigated BGO Entertainment Limited, GAN PLC and NetBet and found weaknesses in their social responsibility and AML procedures.

Gaming Commission Wraps up Assessment of Three Brands’ SR and AML

A UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) investigation into multiple brands in the United Kingdom, including BGO Entertainment Limited, GAN PLC and NetBet Enterprises, has led to the introduction of additional conditions to the licenses agreements for two of the involved parties.

The UKGC has undertaken the investigation to ensure compliance with social responsibility and anti-money laundering practices and as a part of the attempt to raise standards for the gambling industry in the United Kingdom.

According to the regulator, the investigation was necessitated due to “multiple failures” to uphold the license agreements with specificity. As a result, BGO and GAN PLC will both have to comply with extraordinary conditions applied to their licenses.

All three operators will need to make improvements in their policies and procedures, the watchdog said, and make payments to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. In line with the regulator’s broader involvement in regulating gambling, the Gambling Commission will also review individual Personal Management Licence holders employed with each company.

“Licensees must protect consumers from harm and treat them fairly,” said Richard Watson, the executive director at the Gambling Commission. According to Watson, the GC addressed issues ranging from consumer protection to anti-money laundering failings.

“We will continue to crack down on failing operators through our tough and proactive compliance and enforcement work,” Watson concluded.

Why in Hot Water?

The UK Gambling Commission has identified various failings with each brand specifically. BGO, the GC said, had failed to enact policies and procedures to identify customers who may be experiencing or showing symptoms of problem gambling in the period September 25, 2018, and March 23, 2020.

Anti-money laundering was another shortcoming cited by the GC, referring to the period between September 25, 2018, and July 21, 2020. As a result, BGO will need to ramp up social responsibility and boost anti-money laundering procedures for top customers.

The company will also need to pay £2 million to support the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. Next is GAN PLC which, according to the watchdog, failed to comply with four license conditions.

Once again, that involved AML policies and procedures and omitting warnings that underage gambling is an offense, compounded by the fact that the website had what the regulator described as poor customer interaction guidance.

GAN will too have to enhance its social responsibility and AML procedures and controls and offer additional management. Last was NetBet Enterprises Limited which in the period between November 20 2018 and May 29 2019 failed to meet social responsibility and AML checks in full.

NetBet will, as a result, undertake various measures, including a better monitoring process of the log-in times of consumers and boost its responsible gambling assessment of customers, the regulator said.

NetBet will also contribute £748,000 to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. The UK has been systematically revving up its consumer protection practices. There have been various calls to protect gamblers and non-gamblers in the country.

A new proposed change by the Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice wants to boost protection of youths from gambling ads exposure, for example.

Yet, the number of active gamblers in the country has declined by 7%, a UKGC survey recently indicated.

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