The United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission has released its Compliance and Enforcement report for the year, revealing that it isn’t happy with operators’ lenient anti-money laundering and social responsibility measures.
The UKGC Scrutinized Operators’ Lack of Effort
The authority accused its licensees of placing their profits first and not being diligent enough in complying with the regulations. The operators’ negligence, the commission stated, is partially due to its own shortcomings. The report explained that operators’ methodology for risk assessment is lacking when it comes to countering money laundering schemes and financing of terrorist organizations.
Furthermore, when it comes to compliance, many operators seem to be over-reliant on third-party solutions, which are sometimes flawed.
According to the report, the reason for the failings is almost as concerning as the failings themselves.
“Our casework reveals that operators are either not making suitable resources available or are simply putting commercial objectives ahead of regulatory ones,” the statement reads.
The commission underlined that this is unacceptable and that those operators are not playing fair, considering that some of their peers are working hard to stay compliant.
The Authority Listed Examples and Reminded Licensees to Abide by the Regulations
To illustrate its point, the Gambling Commission has pointed out several problematic situations that happened in 2021.
One of the most popular such cases was this spring when the betting operator Casumo allowed a player to lose $1.45 million without reaching out to him. The negligence eventually cost Casumo a fine of almost $8 million.
This wasn’t the only time a gambling operator failed to live up to the commission’s standards. Оther failings included one case where a bettor presented sealed cash packets in a casino and lied that they come from another operator, another where a customer used a false ID to deposit large amounts of cash, a third one where a cybercriminal used illegally-obtained proceeds in a reputable casino and a fourth one attempted to exchange substantial amounts of Swiss Francs and Euros but refused to provide a source of the funds
Additionally, a certain casino had lenient policies and only asked players’ source of funds after they had visited it at least 20 times.
“The Commission is continuing to see repeated examples of operators failing to undertake a review of their risk assessments which take into account the Commission’s emerging risk publications. We continue to see insufficient due diligence checks which increase the risk of accepting illicit funds,” the authority stated.
It also said that operators were far more concerned about their media image and keeping their façade of compliant licensees to the press than to actually comply with the rules.
The Gambling Commission used the occasion to remind operators that despite the COVID-19 hurdles, they are expected to abide by the regulations stated in their licenses and do their best to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.