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.
ELA Games obtains the MGA Recognition Notice
ELA Games is delighted to announce that it has been authorized by the Malta Gaming Authority. Marking the beginning of our expansion into select global markets in collaboration with MGA.
ELA Games continues its strategic expansion in Europe and it is another major step in its ability to access distribution and commercial partnerships with companies based in the iGaming hub of Malta.
Mike Cini, Business Owner at ELA Games, commented: “We’re delighted to have obtained our MGA Recognition Notice as it is another major milestone in our regulatory expansion. Malta is the leading iGaming hub in Europe and being authorized there will enable us to work even more closely with our operators and bring player engagement to the next level for our partners.”
ELA Games focuses on producing high quality products that are stacked with gamification features, quality design and animation. Recent releases include Vikings Wild Cash and Lucky Dwarfs. They have already received amazing feedback from operators and players and the studio looks forward to signing more partnerships and launching more games in the coming months.
Jelly Entertainment Awarded Game Host Licence by Gambling Commission and Recognition Notice by MGA
Jelly Entertainment has received regulatory approval for its proprietary platform from both the Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
With a Game Host licence in the UK and a Recognition Notice in Malta, the supplier will now have full control of its proprietary technology development and delivery schedule.
These licences pave the way for fostering innovation in platform features and new in-game mechanics as well as bolstering tailored support for operators. It additionally ensures system reliability and security as the business transitions to the next stage in its journey.
Its platform and game content is already certified in accordance with the technical requirements of the Gambling Commission and MGA, and also supports the regulatory requirements of regulators in Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Portugal, as well as multiple other markets.
Having already forged a reputation for successful gaming content, its soon-to-launch titles include CleoPatrick, Midas Riches and Wicked Riches of Oz. Operating since 2020, Jelly is driven to create immersive, supercharged, omni-channel entertainment. In this way it can reach players wherever they are, whenever they want to play, and in any channel they choose – casino, retail or digital. Its manifesto is built on its restless spirit of entrepreneurship; a strategy to differentiate its slot design and delivery by adopting a balanced mix of evolution and revolution.
David Newstead, CEO at Jelly, said: “We are really pleased to see our efforts recognised by another leading authority, and our Notice of Recognition by the MGA is an exciting step forward as we continue to propel ourselves from challenger brand to the ranks of full-service B2B supplier.
Our thanks to the Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority for helping us to achieve another important step on our journey, and we’re looking forward to seeing our titles land in a number of lobbies across Europe and beyond soon.”
Videoslots awarded Swedish licence extension
Leading operator granted five-year renewal from SGA
The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has awarded a five-year renewal to Videoslots for its licence.
Valid until the end of 2028, the renewal is the maximum possible extension that the SGA can give to operators.
Videoslots has operated in Sweden since the first day the regulated market opened in 2019 with the flagship brand of the group, and most recently alongside its rising star Mr Vegas.
This news confirms Videoslots’ footprint within Europe and the Nordics, following a successful 2023, which saw the release of its 10,000th slot and the launch in Ontario.
Ulle Skottling, Deputy CEO at Videoslots said the news strengthened the company’s position and validated its player-centric approach.
He added: “We remain strong in business and compliance, and we welcome the SGA’s recognition and ongoing confidence in our practices. The decision supports our plans for 2024.”
ELA Games obtains the MGA Recognition Notice
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