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Compliance Updates

Sweden’s Riksdag Amends Anti Money Laundering Measures

Niji Narayan

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Sweden’s Riksdag Amends Anti Money Laundering Measures
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Riksdag, the national legislature and the supreme decision-making body of Sweden, has made certain amendments to an Act on measures against money laundering and financing of terrorism. The new rules became effective on January 1, 2020.

The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen said that it has decided to amend some provisions in the authority’s money laundering regulations in order to comply with the law. These changes establish that licensees must analyse what actions may be taken against employees.

Another modification focuses on the phrase “Security Police,” as with the new changes, it is given the same rights as the Police Authority to request information from operators. The changes made by Spelinspektionen took effect on January 1, 2020.

The regulator has recently issued a number of relevant points that identify a legal gambling operator in the country. The company must offer deposits, withdrawals and wins in Swedish currency, information in Swedish or the conditions for participation must be in the same language. Companies must also have a Swedish customer service or FAQ in the local language.

Compliance Updates

UK ASA Bans “Misleading” Ad of Lucky Go Studio

Niji Narayan

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UK ASA Bans “Misleading” Ad of Lucky Go Studio
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The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an ad of Lucky Go Studio after a claimant challenged whether an in-game ad was deceptive owing to unrealistic chances of winning prizes while using the app.

The commercial was first seen on 25 November 2019, which was initially shown as an in-play video ad for the Lucky Goal app. It showed someone attempting to order a pair of headphones on Amazon’s mobile phone screen but getting a message saying “Your credit card has been declined.”

The ad then featured “Lucky Goal–Funny every day” on-screen text and “New chances to win every day!” “Before the user begins the Lucky Goal app, plays a roulette game and wins $85.

A survey was then shown where two correct answers to the questions resulted in the user winning $100. The user then received a scratch card for $54. The ad concluded with a text indicating “LUCKY GOAL” and “PLAY. WIN. REDEEM” on-screen, below which were Amazon and PayPal logos.

Lucky Go Studio refused to respond to the ASA’s decision, leading the advertising watchdog to claim that this was an “apparent disregard” for the CAP code.

The ASA explained that the ad in question must not reappear in its current form: “We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future,” it said.

“We considered consumers would understand from the ad that users of the Lucky Goal app stood a reasonable chance of winning the sums of money featured in the ad and that they would be able to redeem any money they won. However, we received no information from the advertiser demonstrating that users had won and redeemed the sums featured.

“In the absence of such evidence, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was therefore misleading.”

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Compliance Updates

UKGC: Systemic failings at Caesars Entertainment UK leads to the departure of three senior managers and sanctions of £13m

George Miller

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Caesars Entertainment leads to the departure of three senior managers and sanctions of £13m
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The UK Gambling Commission has announced that Caesars Entertainment UK Limited is to pay £13m and must implement a series of improvements following a catalogue of social responsibility, money laundering and customer interaction failures including those involving ‘VIPs’.

As a result of this investigation three senior managers at the company surrendered their personal licences.

The Regulator’s investigations into Personal Management Licence holders are ongoing.

The land-based gambling business, which operates 11 casinos across Britain, will pay the money following an investigation by the Commission which found serious systematic failings in the way the company took decisions about VIP customers between January 2016 and December 2018.

Social responsibility failings included:

  • Inadequate interaction with a customer who was known to have previously self-excluded and lost £240,000 over a 13-month period
  • Inadequate interaction with a customer who lost £323,000 in a 12-month period and had displayed signs of problem gambling which included 30 sessions exceeding five hours
  • A customer allowed to lose £18,000 in a year despite identifying herself as a self-employed nanny and informing staff that her savings had been spent, and that she was borrowing money from family and using an overdraft facility to fund gambling activities
  • Inadequate interaction with, and source of funds checks on, a customer who identified as a retired postman and lost £15,000 in 44 days.

Money laundering failings included:

  • The operator not carrying out adequate source of funds checks on a customer who was allowed to drop around £3.5 million and lose £1.6 million over a period of three months.
  • The operator not obtaining adequate evidence of source of funds for a politically exposed person (PEP) who lost £795,000 during a 13-month period
  • The operator not carrying out enhanced customer due diligence (ECDD) checks on a consumer who lost £240,000 over a 13-month period
  • The operator not carrying out adequate source of funds checks on a customer who identified as a waitress and was allowed to buy-in £87,000 and lose £15,000 during a 12-month period.

Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, said: “We have published this case at this time because it’s vitally important that the lessons are factored into the work the industry is currently doing to address poor practices of VIP management in which we must see rapid progress made.

“The failings in this case are extremely serious. A culture of putting customer safety at the heart of business decisions should be set from the very top of every company and Caesars failed to do this. We will now continue to investigate the individual licence holders involved with the decisions taken in this case.

“In recent times the online sector has received the greatest scrutiny around VIP practices but VIP practices are found right across the industry and our tough approach to compliance and enforcement will continue, whether a business is on the high street or online.

“We are absolutely clear about our expectations of operators – whatever type of gambling they offer they must know their customers. They must interact with them and check what they can afford to gamble with – stepping in when they see signs of harm.  Consumer safety is non-negotiable.”

All £13m from this case will be directed towards delivering the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

The action against Caesars is the latest in a line of tough regulatory action by the Commission.

Since January the Commission has suspended the operating licences of Stakers Limited, Addison Global Limited, and Multi Media International Limited.

So far this year regulatory action has led to the industry paying £27 million in penalty packages. This includes £11.6 million for Betway and £3 million for Mr Green.

Read public statement about Caesars Entertainment here.

 

Source: UKGC

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Compliance Updates

Stars Group and Flutter Entertainment Combo Gets UK CMA Clearance

Niji Narayan

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The Stars Group Receives UK Competition & Markets Authority Clearance for its Combination With Flutter Entertainment
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The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has unconditionally cleared the combination of The Stars Group with Flutter Entertainment following CMA’s Phase 1 review under the Enterprise Act 2002.

The Stars Group and Flutter had signed a contract that allows an all-share acquisition of The Stars Group by Flutter pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act.

The Stars Group and Flutter continue to work carefully for completing the acquisition, provided the contract gets approval from a small number of other regulatory bodies and certain approvals by each of Flutter’s and The Stars Group’s shareholders.

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