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Compliance Updates

UKGC: Licence Suspension and £3.8M Fine for Genesis Global Limited

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Britain’s gambling industry is being warned that the Commission “will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety” following enforcement action involving suspending an online casino from operating and then fining it £3.8m.

Genesis Global Limited – which runs 14 websites including genesiscasino.com, casinoplanet.com and casinocruise.com – has also been given a warning by the Commission and told it must undergo further extensive auditing.

The operator was suspended from operating in Britain after enquiries revealed significant social responsibility and money laundering failures.

Three months later (14 October 2020) the suspension was lifted following significant compliance improvements but the Commission’s investigation continued and now concluded with a £3.8m fine, a warning and an additional licence condition demanding further auditing.

Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director, said: “All gambling businesses should pay very close attention to this case.

“The Commission will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety and that extends to stopping a business from actually operating.

“Failing to follow rules aimed at keeping gambling safe and crime-free will never be a viable business option for gambling businesses in Britain.”

Social responsibility failures included:

  • not carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions with, or placing any effective restrictions on the account of, a customer who spent £245,000 in three months. Three days into their relationship Genesis knew the customer was an NHS nurse earning £30,000 a year
  • not carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions or establishing affordability of a customer who lost £197,000 over six months. The same day the customer closed her account, stating she wanted to spend more time with her family, she was allowed to open another account with the business and deposit £200
  • not carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions or establishing affordability of a customer who lost £234,000 in a six week period.

Money laundering failures included:

  • requested source of funds only after one customer had lost £209,000. Prior to this Genesis had estimated the customer was earning £111,000 a year because the consumer had told them they were a director and this was the average salary of directors in London. The operator failed to take into account the company was dormant and that there would be a wide range of director salaries. Genesis also failed to verify information supplied by the customer to substantiate the level of spend
  • a customer was allowed to deposit over £1,300,000 and lose £600,000 before carrying out sufficient source of funds checks. The customer provided Genesis with documentation including a bank statement which showed deposits into the account to the value of £23,000 and payments out to the value of £27,000 – clearly not enough to support the level of gambling
  • a customer was allowed to lose £107,000 over six months without carrying out sufficient source of funds checks. Genesis relied on assertion that the customer’s money came from an allowance from parents who owned factories overseas and failed to verify this information. The customer provided a number of bank statements, however, they did not evidence any source of income but did show transactions with other gambling operators.

Compliance Updates

Playnetic strengthens European presence with licence to operate in Sweden

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Playnetic strengthens European presence with licence to operate in Sweden
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Playnetic, the new immersive B2B iGaming provider has announced that it has been granted a Swedish licence, following regulatory approval from the Swedish Gambling Authority, Spelinspektionen. 

The licence allows Playnetic to launch its catalogue of innovative iGaming titles in Sweden, enabling the company to finalise partnerships with prominent operators across the country. 

This significant milestone marks a major step forward in supporting Playnetic’s ambitious growth plans, which include increasing its foothold in other European markets, as well as continued expansion in regulated markets across the globe. 

Dan Phillips, Playnetic CEO said: “Since launching in early 2023, Playnetic has been exploring expansion opportunities in Europe to penetrate new markets and we are thrilled with achieving this milestone.  

“Thanks to our experienced compliance team, we were able to obtain this licence promptly, which is a huge positive as the market entry lines up perfectly with our regulatory roadmap for 2024. We are looking forward to launching our innovative suite of games which feature captivating themes and mechanics to players and operators in Sweden.” 

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Bulgarian President Approves Gambling Law Amendments

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Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has decided not to veto the proposed amendments to the Gambling Law, which include a prohibition on gambling advertisements in the media.

Previously, President Radev had indicated that he was deliberating on the changes to the Gambling Law and was awaiting input from his advisors before making a final decision.

The prohibition on gambling advertisements in the media was approved by a significant majority of deputies during the final session of the 49th National Assembly. Despite objections raised by various media outlets, gambling operators, sports clubs, and other businesses between the readings, the amendments were endorsed. Some stakeholders argued against the ban, suggesting that public discussion should precede its adoption.

The initiative for the amendments originated from GERB and DPS, and it was introduced unexpectedly during the last days of the 49th National Assembly by Yordan Tsonev (DPS) and Temenuzka Petkova (GERB). The bill swiftly progressed through the legislative process, passing its first reading in the budget committee and subsequently receiving approval in the plenary session. An extraordinary meeting of the Committee on Budget and Finance was convened to facilitate the voting on the amendments before the deputies commenced their pre-election recess.

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Compliance Updates

Playson awarded ISO/IEC 27001:2022 certification

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Playson, the fast-growing digital entertainment supplier, has been granted an ISO/IEC 27001:2022 certificate, reinforcing its commitment to implementing robust compliance measures.

Having previously gained an ISO 27001:2013 certificate three years ago, this updated version is key in safeguarding sensitive information and required for Playson to hold its existing licences in valuable regulated markets.

This latest development coincides with Playson’s plans to further extend its outreach across a number of regions over the next 12 months, paving the way for the supplier to enter new jurisdictions in a more streamlined way.

The accreditation was awarded by Quinel and recognises the provider’s adherence in aligning with the standards that the International Organisation for Standardisation sets, demonstrating its ability to mitigate any information security risks whilst meeting all necessary legal and regulatory requirements.

The 2022 version includes updates and revisions to better address contemporary information security risks and challenges, such as those related to cloud computing, remote working, and emerging technologies. It provides organisations with a framework for implementing and managing an effective information security management system (ISMS) to protect their sensitive information assets.

Vsevolod Lapin, Deputy CEO at Playson, said: “The transition to ISO 2022 is welcome news for the business, and shows our continued dedication to compliance and regulation. Partners can rest assured of Playson’s heightened security measures and adherence to international standards with us acquiring this certificate.

“Greece, Ontario and Sweden are vital territories for Playson, with this certification also necessary for the Swiss market, and I expect the ISO 2022 to be required for more jurisdictions in the future, so this recognition has been received at a good time as we look to strengthen our global standing.”

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