UKGC Issues Fines to Two Operators over Social Responsibility Breaches

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued updates today, citing the names of two gaming companies that have breached social responsibility protocols. The two casinos will now have to pay a collective fine of roughly $1.80 million. The businesses named in the ruling include Rank Digital Gaming and Annexio.

Social Responsibility, Self-Exclusion, and Terrorist Funding

Rank is responsible for brands such as grosnovercasino.com, bellacasino.com, meccabingo.com, and messagames.com. The company will have to pay a $955,000 fine, with the regulator citing key “responsibility fairs” behind its decision to act.

According to the UKGC, Rank Digital Gaming breached specific rules pertaining to the Social Responsibility Code. The period cited by the regulator is backdated and cites instances between October 2019 and February 2021.

Another issue arose in the period between June 2020 and February 2021 and had to specifically do with customer identification. Rank specifically failed to enforce self-exclusion safeguards across its brands, with excluded players reportedly registering on another of the company’s brands, the commission outlined in its statement.

The second entity named in the breach is Annexio, which is operating lottogo.com. The company will have to pay an $835,000  fine to face what the UKGC argues are social responsibility and money laundering breaches.

UKGC Gives a Statement on Upholding Regulations

Commenting on those developments, UKGC executive director Helen Venn stressed the importance of maintaining high standards in the industry:

“We expect high standards from operators to ensure gambling in Britain is safe and crime-free. Those businesses that fail to meet these standards will find themselves facing costly regulatory action.”

UKGC executive director Helen Venn

The first issue brought up by the regulator cites specific shortcomings in the enforcement of AML and terrorist financing safeguards, which the company had failed to uphold. The regulator cited shortcomings in upholding the Social Responsibility Code as well.

All money collected from these penalties will be forwarded to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms as a way to continue and tackle social issues related to gambling. The UK is in the process of carrying out a comprehensive review of its gambling act.

Affordability checks have been a hot topic for lawmakers. As controls in the regulator market are constantly improving, license holders come under fresh scrutiny from the regulator which obligates them to uphold higher standards.

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