UKGC Fines BV Gaming $2.68M, Cites Mitigating Factors

BetVictor, the trade name of BV Gaming, has become the latest operator in the British gambling market to come under scrutiny and subsequent penalty by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). BV Gaming also owns and Heart Bingo.

The regulator has issued a £2 million ($2.68 million) penalty on BV Gaming in what the watchdog cites are anti-money laundering, fairness, and social responsibility shortcomings pertaining to the country’s gambling code and established rules of conduct.

BetVictor’s Penalty Detailed by UKGC

The failings date back to 2020 and are the result of a look into the AML and code of conduct of the gambling company which led the watchdog to conclude that there have been overlooked risks. The UKGC cited both money laundering and terrorist financing shortcomings. In terms of social responsibility, the UKGC argues that BetVictor failed to comply with various responsible gambling practices, controls, and agreed-upon industry practices.

According to the watchdog, BetVictor has not leveraged sufficient risk assessment when it comes to high spenders or customers who have been using multiple gambling accounts, for example. The UKGC head of enforcement unit Leanne Oxley said that non-compliance would result in regulatory action:

“Non-compliance – no matter what the reason – will never be a viable business option for gambling businesses. We will always be tough on operators who fail in this way.”

UKGC head of enforcement unit Leanne Oxley

Oxley stated that BetVictor had failed consumers by not meeting up the standards that the British gambling industry should uphold. However, BetVictor has been working to address those shortcomings which have made the UKGC more pliant in issuing the final penalty.

BetVictor Makes Active Steps to Uphold Industry Standards

BetVictor has worked to fix compliance breaches and improve on shortcomings outlined in the latest regulator’s assessment. The penalty is broken into two tranches with one being a regulatory settlement to the tune of £325,000 ($435,400) because of the failings and another  £1.72 ($2.30 million) which will be paid instead of a financial penalty to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harm.

The UKGC cited the seriousness of the breaches and said that they were similar to previous cases that the regulator had already dealt with. BV Gaming remained ready to cooperate with the commission throughout the entire investigation and helped investigate the problems highlighted by the regulator.

The commission has been blamed both for being too lenient and too harsh on the gambling industry, but its penalties have seldom been challenged successfully – if not at all. Most stakeholders who have received penalties have accepted them or have chosen to leave the market.

Meanwhile, the date of a highly-anticipated gambling review is drawing near. The Betting and Gaming Council has urged lawmakers for objectivity after the review had to be delayed until May.

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