Renowned United Kingdom-based online gambling operator Betway has been slapped with a record £11.6 million-fine by the country’s gambling regulator. According to the UK Gambling Commission, the company received the fine for failures related to social responsibility and money laundering with a key focus on how the gaming operator treated seven of its high-spending customers.
Betway did not bother to check the source of the funds from the players. Perhaps the most notable case was a customer who deposited more than £8 million and lost over £4 million within a four-year period. Another rather bizarre scenario was one customer who deposited and lost a whopping £187,000 in two days!
In addition to noting that that close to £6 million had easily passed through Betway without any probe into their source, the officials of the gaming commission also expressed concern over the possibility that the funds could have been from proceeds of crime. Naturally, this is a gross violation of the rules and regulations that govern the territory’s gambling industry.
“The actions of Betway suggest there was little regard for the welfare of its VIP customers or the impact on those around them.”Gambling Commission executive director Richard Watson.
In response to the fine, Betway’s Chief Executive Officer Anthony Werkman reportedly took full responsibility for the violations that occurred under his leadership. He noted that he ensured that the company fully cooperated with the investigative efforts. Moreover, Betway is taking the necessary steps to implement all required changes from the recommendations and findings from the gaming commission.
The UK Gambling Commission’s Woes
The recently meted penalty comes amid a lot of pressure from politicians and responsible gambling campaigners in the United Kingdom. The gambling commission has been the recipient of all that pressure and it has had to double down on its efforts to regulate and clean up the territory’s gambling industry. Politicians and campaigners are of the opinion that the regulator is not doing enough when it comes to tackling gambling-related harm.
As a result, the gambling commission is seemingly taking more serious steps in a bid to show that it is serious about fulfilling its mandate. Its most recent efforts have included the issuing of several fines and penalties as well as the introduction of tougher rules and regulations.
According to its chief executive, the UK Gambling Commission is now trying to push the industry to make rapid and significant progress in specific areas where they feel changes will be most impactful when it comes to customer protection. Responsible gambling measures are also a key focus as the gaming operators tighten up their verification checks to prevent money laundering and underage gambling. Even though it might be too early to tell how things will turn out in the end, there are very hopes that all these efforts will pay off pretty soon.