A New report from gambling compliance tracker website GamblingIndustryfines.com has tracked over £24m / $33m in gaming operator fines for the first quarter of the year.
The report shows that European and UK gambling regulators Issued more fines to gambling companies in the first quarter of 2021 than they levied in the first half of 2020
Between them, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) and the Netherlands’ Kansspelautoriteit issued sanctions to thirteen online and land-based gambling operators in Q1 of 2021 – which included financial penalties and warnings.
The largest financial sanctions so far in 2021 came in March when the UKGC fined online casino firm Casumo £6,000,000 ($8.2M) for breaching anti-money laundering rules and failing to ensure that players were gambling responsibly.
Gambling companies hit by regulatory settlements included White Hat Gaming, Virtual Coin Gaming, Hajper Ltd, ComeOn Sweden, Casinostugan, Hillside Sports, Clockfair, Shaftesbury Casino, Les Croupiers Casino, Double Diamond Gaming.
Key failings by gambling companies fined in 2021 included:
- Anti money-laundering failings
- Social responsibility failing
- For Offering Odds on a Match Featuring Underage Players
- Offering bonuses in breach of local gaming laws
- Failure to prevent Overspending & placing limits on accounts
- Operating unlicensed domains
- failing in identifying customers at risk of gambling related harm
- Not having appropriate Anti-Money Laundering (AML) measures.
The increase in fines & gambling-industry regulations worldwide by governments and regulators could make 2021 a record-breaking year for compliance-related gambling industry fines.
To view detailed information for all fines issued to gambling companies in Q1 2020, see the full Q1 2021 report at Gamblingindustryfines.com.
Spinomenal secures B2B UKGC licence
Spinomenal, the leading iGaming content provider, has secured its B2B licence from the UKGC to open further opportunities within one of the world’s premium markets.
Spinomenal’s rich roster of slot games is now readily available for UK operators, which includes Lucky Jack – Lost Jungle, Wolf Fang, Demi Gods III as well as the revolutionary shared Spinomenal Universe.
The star content provider now boasts gaming licences for a wave of the most highly coveted regulated territories. The UKGC licence joins approval from the Malta Gaming Authority, Sweden, Netherlands and Romania.
Retro Gaming, a classic slots studio powered by Spinomenal, is now also in position to extend its reach and allow partners to diversify their offering with nostalgic entertainment.
Spinomenal’s Head of Partnerships Olga Sirokha, commented: “Securing our UK gaming licence is a huge moment as it allows us to share our outstanding slots library with partners working in this prestigious market. Our Retro Gaming project is gaining momentum all the time and we expect this to accelerate now we’re able to target UK-licensed operators with its range of classic entertainment products.”
Smarkets Fined £630,000 for AML and Social Responsibility Failings
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has handed a £630,000 fine to betting exchange Smarkets after identifying a series of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings, including letting a player deposit a six-figure sum without appropriate checks.
According to UKGC, Smarkets allowed customers to gamble without carrying out sufficient source-of-funds checks, while the operator was also found to have failed to identify and interact with customers at risk of experiencing harm.
Specific examples published by the Commission included one customer being allowed to deposit £395,000 during a four-month period, without appropriate source of funds checks being carried out by Smarkets.
The Commission also highlighted a case where an individual was able to transfer significant levels of funds between accounts without scrutiny or source-of-funds checks.
Sarah Gardner, Commission Deputy CEO, said: “This case was identified through compliance checks and once again highlights how we will take action against gambling operators who fail their customers.
“Our investigation into Smarkets unearthed a variety of failures where customers were put at risk of gambling harm.
“It was obvious that poor systems and processes were in place which contributed to these breaches, driven by the company’s failure to effectively implement its policies and controls.”
The operator has also received a formal warning and will undergo an audit to ensure it is effectively implementing its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls, in line with section 117(1)(b) of the Gambling Act 2005.
Openbox Gaming offers gateway to Asia
New provider will deliver fresh content opportunitues to both operators and suppliers
Openbox Gaming, a fast-growing distributor of iGaming content across Asia and other markets, has been issued an IOM OGRA Software Supplier licence by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC).
Having secured the Software Supplier licence, one of the industry’s newest iGaming distributors with a unique USP will be in a position to supply a portfolio of online casino games from a variety of internal and external suppliers, to licensed B2B gaming partners and B2C operators.
Richard Hogg, CEO of Openbox Gaming, commented: “We are excited to be able to continue in our mission to deliver gaming content to regulated jurisdictions worldwide and see this as a major step in achieving those objectives. We selected the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission due to its established and proven reputation and its robust licensing process, which provides the ideal platform for our expansion into regulated markets.”
Tony Ure, Head of eGaming, Digital Isle of Man added: “It is a pleasure to welcome Openbox Gaming to the Island. Ensuring that the Island has a supportive ecosystem for gaming companies to operate their business, whilst maintaining our reputation as a highly regulated jurisdiction that prides itself on player protection is key to continuing the growth of this sector on the Isle of Man. I wish Openbox Gaming every success with their future ventures.”
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