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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

Compliance Updates

Stats Perform Receives IBIA Data Standards Accreditation

Niji Narayan

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Stats Perform Receives IBIA Data Standards Accreditation
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Stats Perform has become the first betting data provider to be awarded the International Betting Integrity Association’s (IBIA) independently audited Data Standards Accreditation for the collection and distribution of sports event data for betting.

The award represents the highest mark of betting data quality and integrity available and is assessed by expert independent auditors, eCOGRA.

“I am delighted to announce that Stats Perform is the first company to meet the data standards protocols IBIA published in October 2020. In passing the independent auditing process, Stats Perform has demonstrated secure and robust internal procedures for the collation of sporting event data for betting and may now utilise the Data Standards Kitemark,” Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said.

“Stats Perform met every requirement set out in the data standards protocols. The company was well-prepared for the auditing process, and the evidence that was reviewed was representative of a company culture that is in line with the core principles of IBIA’s data integrity standards and committed to continually improving upon them,” Shaun McCallaghan, CEO of eCOGRA, said.

“This accreditation is thanks to tireless quality and integrity efforts from our sports data operations teams over the past 15 years and, whilst we’re grateful for the recognition, we know our efforts don’t stop here. We continuously search for new threats and assess opportunities to improve our sports data processes, people and technology,” Andrew Ashenden, Chief Betting Officer at Stats Perform, said.

“Stats Perform’s RunningBall and Opta sports data is chosen by the world’s leading rights holders, sportsbooks and pricing providers to power exceptional in-play betting experiences for millions of global sports bettors,” Andrew Ashenden added.

“Our priority at Stats Perform is the integrity of the betting markets and of the competitions upon which they rely. Effective risk management of our data supply chain involves ongoing investment, collaboration and commitment across numerous expert teams who live and breathe the quality of our product. We are very proud to be recognised by the IBIA for our dedication to quality and integrity,” Jake Marsh, Global Head of Integrity at Stats Perform, said.

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Compliance Updates

Booming Games receives UK license

George Miller

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Booming Games receives UK license
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Malta-based and MGA licensed slot supplier Booming Games kicks off 2021 with the approval from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to supply their games to players in the UK. The company has met the high standards of the regulator and received the supplier license in January 2021.

Frederik Niehusen, CCO at Booming Games commented: “We are extremely proud to kick off 2021 with the approval of our UK license. After receiving the MGA license more than two years ago we have made the next big step in our regulatory road map. The UKGC sets one of the highest regulatory standards in our industry and we have met these standards within a short time period thanks to a strong team performance.”

The majority of Booming Games’ slot portfolio will soon be available to UK players via existing and future partners. This includes top game titles like Burning Classics, Howling Wolves, Gold Vein and Lucky Scarabs.

“We are looking forward to expanding the market reach of our games to the UK with our existing as well as future partners. The UK remains a key market for many operators.”, Frederik Niehusen added.

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Compliance Updates

Synot Games Secures UKGC Licence

Niji Narayan

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Synot Games Secures UKGC Licence
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SYNOT Games has received a supplier license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

SYNOT Games’ popular titles such as Books of Secrets, Respin Joker, Fruit Awards and newest releases – 243 Mexicana, Monkey Slots, Joker 50 Deluxe – will be available for licensed operators in the UK market.

“This is a huge step for us as a company. The UKGC is known to have strict regulations to comply with, so having the licence granted to us represents a significant step which we took one day before Christmas. We are now able to integrate our slot offer with online casino operators in the UK and make them available to their players for the very first time,” Ivan Kodaj, CEO of SYNOT Games, said.

“Our sales team will now be focusing on branching out to UK-based customers. Gaining as much exposure as possible to reach as many players as possible across the country will be their main goal for now. We are excited to launch our exceptional slot games across the UK,” Martina Hrabinská, CCO of SYNOT Games, said.

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