UKGC Uncovers Illegal Facebook Lotteries With the Help of Law Enforcement

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has led an investigation that saw the disruption of several illegal Facebook lotteries. With the help of law enforcement through the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN) and a Facebook representative, the investigation focused on the illegal operations, which posed numerous risks to both consumers and vulnerable players. These developments come shortly after APPG’s draft report stated that the commission is too harsh on the industry

Hundreds of People Took Part in Illegal Lotteries

UKGC’s executive director, Helen Venn, stated that hundreds of people were taking part in the illegal lotteries on Facebook, but the main goal of the investigation was to determine who organized and moderated them. 

Venn went on to say that thanks to Facebook’s cooperation, the investigation was successful, and the people that organized the lotteries had been identified.

As a concluding remark, UKGC’s executive director said that all forms of illegal lotteries, including those taking place on social media platforms, will be part of the commission’s enforcement efforts in 2022. The UKGC will work closely with Facebook and other platforms to pinpoint these types of activities and the people responsible for them.

The Illegal Lotteries Offered Various Types of Rewards 

Two individuals were identified for promoting the illegal lotteries on Facebook. The lotteries ran various rewards, including cash prizes, clothing, and children’s toys. After cease and desist letters were issued from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and North East Regional Special Operations, the organizers of the lotteries were booted from the groups. 

The GAIN coordinator for the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, David Gill, stated that most of the time, the winners of these illegal lotteries are actually those that organize and promote them. Moreover, they are keen on keeping their operations flowing.

Gill also added that the unit would continue to support the UKGC in shutting down similar activities and preventing people from profiting from illegal schemes.

Kevin Benson, North East Regional Special Operations Unit GAIN coordinator, also shared a few words. He said that it was of utmost importance to know that illegal gambling can cause harm, especially when illegal lotteries often target vulnerable groups.

The Commission’s main goal has always been to keep the gambling industry in the UK safe. That is why it was extremely active in 2021 and continues to act in 2022. Recently, it issued a $5 million fine to Genesis Global after uncovering several breaches in social responsibilities and money laundering standards.

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