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Compliance Updates

UKGC: Gamesys to pay £1.2m for social responsibility and money laundering failures

George Miller

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UKGC: Gamesys to pay £1.2m for social responsibility and money laundering failures
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Online gambling operator Gamesys (Gibraltar) Limited will pay £1.2m for failing to prevent gambling harm and breaching money laundering regulations.

The Gambling Commission launched an investigation into the operator’s processes after police investigations revealed three individuals had spent stolen money with the gambling business.

It was discovered that despite customers displaying behaviour that could indicate problem gambling the operator failed to deliver interaction that could have prevented harm.

The investigation also revealed the operator failed to comply with money laundering regulations, including not establishing customers’ source of funds.

As part of a settlement with the Commission Gamesys will return £460,472 of stolen money to victims and pay £690,000 as a payment in lieu of a financial penalty. This money will be spent accelerating delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said: “It is vital that operators understand their customers – track their online gambling and step in quickly when they suspect someone is suffering from gambling harm.

“These key steps and processes ensure they meet both their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations for all customers.

“Gamesys’ approach resulted in a variety of failings and saw stolen money flowing through the business – with customers being put at risk of gambling related harm.”

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George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Compliance Updates

UKGC Imposes £322,000 Fine on Betfred for Money Laundering Failures

Niji Narayan

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UKGC Imposes £322,000 Fine on Betfred for Money Laundering Failures
Photo Source: wikipedia.org
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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has imposed a fine of £322,000 on online gambling operator Petfre, trading as Betfred, for money laundering failures.

An investigation by the Gambling Commission revealed that the operator failed to carry out adequate source of funds checks on a customer who deposited £210,000, and lost £140,000, of stolen money in a 12-day period in November 2017. A customer being able to deposit and lose such significant amounts in such a short period of time clearly indicated failings in the effectiveness of Petfre’s anti-money laundering policies and procedures.

As part of this settlement, Petfre will return £140,000 to the identified victim and make a £182,000 payment in lieu of a financial penalty which will be spent accelerating delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

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Compliance Updates

LeoVegas Wins Swedish Online Gambling License Extension

Niji Narayan

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LeoVegas Wins Swedish Online Gambling License Extension
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LeoVegas has won the court battle against the Swedish regulator’s decision to issue a two-year gaming license rather than the standard five-year term.

In November 2018, LeoVegas was among the first online gambling operators to be issued a license to operate in Sweden’s new regulated market, which took effect in January. But while the majority of Sweden’s licensees got five-year permits, LeoVegas was approved for only a two-year period.

Sweden’s Spelinspektionen gambling regulatory body said the shorter term was warranted due to LeoVegas having been fined £600k by the UK Gambling Commission in May 2018 for what the UKGC deemed to be misleading advertising and for allowing self-excluded gamblers to access LeoVegas’ gambling products.

LeoVegas appealed Spelinspektionen’s ruling to the Administrative Court in Linköping and the Court issued a judgment last week granting LeoVegas the full five-year license term.

The Court also found the UKGC judgment alone “does not constitute a sufficient basis” for Spelinspektionen to deviate from its standard five-year licensing period and the punishment of a shorter license duration was neither “justified [n]or proportionate.”

Gustaf Hagman, the CEO of LeoVegas said the decision was “confirmation that we are conducting a professional business.” Hagman said the extended license “gives us peace of mind in the Swedish market, where we take market share month by month.”

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Compliance Updates

ASA Bans Casumo Ad for Targeting Problem Gamblers

Niji Narayan

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ASA Bans Casumo Ad for Targeting Problem Gamblers
Image Source: theopengamingsociety.org
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The ASA has banned an ad of the online casino Casumo after it targeted the customers who googled “How to unsubscribe from all gambling.”

The ASA said it considered anyone searching “how to unsubscribe from all gambling” was looking for ways to reduce their access to gambling.

“We considered such consumers would be likely to include vulnerable persons looking to restrict their exposure to gambling outlets and ads for gambling. The advertising code required that marketing communications for gambling should have particular regard to the need to protect vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited,” ASA said.

The ASA told Casumo that the ad cannot appear again and that it needed to ensure future Google ads are responsibly targeted.

“We require all advertisers to comply with local laws and regulations, including the CAP Code. We adhere to the ASA’s rulings and we continue to review our systems to ensure that they remain relevant and useful,” a spokesman for Google said.

“Casumo engaged fully with the Advertising Standards Agency throughout this process. Our position can clearly be seen in the response to the ASA in the publication and as stated in that publication we reviewed and adapted processes around this to ensure that we examine words that are or should be excluded from such searches going forwards,” a spokesman for Casumo said.

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