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Compliance Updates

UK Gambling Commission Fines LeoVegas £1.32M for AML, Social Responsibility Breaches

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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that it has fined online gaming company LeoVegas £1.32 million ($1.34 million) after investigations discovered social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

The operator, which runs a series of sites – leovegas.com, slotboss.co.uk, pinkcasino.co.uk, betuk.com and 21.co.uk –, will also receive an official warning and undergo an audit “to ensure it is effectively implementing its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls,” the regulator said.

Leanne Oxley, Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement and Intelligence, said: “We identified this through focused compliance activity and we will continue to take action against other operators if they do not learn the lessons our enforcement work is providing.

“This case is a further example of operators failing to protect customers and failing to be alive to money laundering risks within their business.”

Social responsibility failures included:

  • setting spend triggers for Safer Gambling Team customer review significantly higher than the average customer’s spend without any explanation as to how this was appropriate
  • setting six hours as the point at which customers were made to take a 45-minute cool off period without explaining how they concluded that playing for six hours was the point at which harm would occur
  • not acting on their own policy of interacting with customers exhibiting indicators of harm including denied deposits, cancelled withdrawals, long gameplay sessions, gambling sessions occurring late at night or early in the morning
  • not sufficiently taking into account the Commission’s 2019 guidance on customer interaction.

Anti-money laundering failures included:

  • financial triggers for anti-money laundering reviews being too high and unrealistic to effectively manage money laundering and terrorist financing risks
  • relying too heavily on ineffective threshold triggers and inadequate information regarding how much a customer should be allowed to spend based on their income or wealth, or any other risk factor
  • inappropriate controls allowing significant levels of gambling spend to take place within a short space of time without knowing anything about customers’ financial situations.

Baltics

PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate for Latvia

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PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate for Latvia
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The innovative iGaming developer PopOK Gaming is now certified for Latvia. 

Further expanding the scope of its activities, PopOK Gaming also reaches Latvia. 18 of the most beloved games from our portfolio, namely Yummy, Lost Treasure, Diamond Flash, 20 Hot Bar, Sultan’s Tale, Los Apaches, Lucky Jungle and the like, as well as the 4-level Progressive Jackpot are now available for locals to try and delight in the fun environment our games will definitely create. This approval is yet another proof of continual momentum PopOK Gaming has been enjoying, opening new doors for our partners to grow their business and powerfully contributing to their revenue streams.

PopOK Gaming Product Manager, Tsovinar Elchyan, said: “This achievement is another important step forward for PopOK Gaming and an impetus for continuous improvements. After receiving the green light to provide our games in Latvia, we are keen on ensuring a remarkable gaming experience for local players and establishing long-term partnerships with our partners.”

 

PopOK Gaming belongs to Soft Construct (Malta) Limited that holds II Class licence (2239) granted by GLI (Gaming Laboratories International).

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Compliance Updates

Stakelogic Live now broadcasting in the UK

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Stakelogic Live now broadcasting in the UK
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Stakelogic Live continues to establish itself as a leading provider of premium live casino content in core regulated jurisdictions after being awarded a supplier licence by the UK Gambling Commission, allowing it to enter the market for the very first time.

Stakelogic Live is already certified in Malta and the Netherlands and has built a varied portfolio of live casino games across blackjack, roulette, money wheel and slots.

Stakelogic Live is streamed out of dedicated studios in Malta and the Netherlands, which include high-definition cameras, powerful microphones and the latest broadcast and streaming technologies to deliver an engaging and entertaining experience at all times. This has been proven by several of Stakelogic Live’s esteemed clients, such as Unibet, Toto, Betcity and Kansino, who have Dutch-speaking dedicated studios which run 24/7.

Each table is set against a glamorous and opulent background, creating an authentic casino atmosphere. Highly trained dealers host each table and interact with players throughout to ensure they feel like VIPs from their first game round to their last.

Stakelogic Live has also brought several innovative concepts to the live dealer space, including Super Stake. This was first developed by parent company Stake Logic to turbo-charge the gameplay in its classic slots and modern video slots but is now available on select live games.

Super Stake allows players to effectively double their bet to increase the chance of a bonus feature triggering and insane win combinations landing. There is nothing else like it in the live casino market.

With its UK Gambling Commission permit in hand, Stakelogic Live will roll out its suite of games with big-name operators active in the market, just as it has done in the Netherlands and Malta jurisdictions where it has partnered with the likes of Unibet.

Stephan van den Oetelaar, CEO of Stakelogic, said: “This is a pivotal milestone on our journey to becoming the leading provider of live casino content to operators in regulated markets around the world.

“The UK is often seen as the benchmark for regulation, so it is a testament to the quality of our games that we have secured the required approvals to enter the market and help operators take their live casino proposition to the next level.

“Our live dealer titles really are a cut above those of our rivals, allowing operators to strengthen their live casino offering with games that engage and entertain in equal measure. We have had great success in other regulated markets and expect the same in the UK.”

He also added: “I am incredibly proud of the entire Stakelogic Live team for working together to secure our UK Gambling Commission licence. We believe this will be a major market for us and look forward to seeing players enjoy the compelling experience our live dealer titles provide.”

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Compliance Updates

UKGC: Entain to pay £17 million for regulatory failures

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UKGC: Entain to pay £17 million for regulatory failures
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A gambling business is to pay £17 million for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures at its online and land-based businesses.

Entain Group will pay £14 million for failures at its online business LC International Limited which runs 13 websites including ladbrokes .com, coral.co.uk and foxybingo .com.

It will also pay £3 million for failures at its Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited operation which runs 2,746 gambling premises across Britain.

All £17 million will be directed towards socially responsible purposes as part of a regulatory settlement.

Additional licence conditions will also be added to ensure a business board member oversees an improvement plan, and that a third-party audit to review its compliance with the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice takes place within 12 months.

Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission chief executive, said: “Our investigation revealed serious failures that have resulted in the largest enforcement outcome to date.

“There were completely unacceptable anti-money laundering and safer gambling failures. Operators are reminded they must never place commercial considerations over compliance.

“This is the second time this operator has fallen foul of rules in place to make gambling safer and crime free.

“They should be aware that we will be monitoring them very carefully and further serious breaches will make the removal of their licence to operate a very real possibility. We expect better and consumers deserve better.”

Social responsibility failures include:

  • being slow to interact with, or not interacting with, certain customers in a way which minimised their risk of experiencing harms associated with gambling – the operator conducted just one chat interaction with an online customer who spent extended periods gambling overnight during an 18-month period in which they deposited £230,845
  • allowing customers subject to enquiries and restrictions to open multiple accounts with the Licensee’s other brands – one online customer who was blocked with Coral because they had spent £60,000 in 12 months and failed to provide Source of Funds (SOF) was immediately able to open an account with Ladbrokes and deposit £30,000 in a single day
  • one shop customer was not escalated for a safer gambling review by either the shop or support office teams despite staking £29,372 and losing £11,345 in a single month
  • overseeing the failure of local staff or area managers to escalate potential concerns with customers sooner – one shop customer was not escalated despite being known to be a delivery driver who had lost £17,000 in a year and another was not escalated despite staking £173,285 and losing £27,753 over the same time period.

Anti-money laundering failures include:

  • failing to conduct an adequate risk assessment of the risks of their online business being used for money laundering and terrorist financing
  • allowing online customers to deposit large amounts without carrying out sufficient SOF checks – one consumer was allowed to deposit £742,000 in 14 months without appropriate SOF checks and another, who was known to live in social housing, was allowed to deposit £186,000 in six months without sufficient SOF checks
  • failing to conduct enhanced customer due diligence checks soon enough – one online customer was allowed to deposit £524,501 between December 2019 and October 2020 before the operator closed the account due to the customer failing to supply SOF evidence
  • placing excessive reliance on open-source information – one online consumer was allowed to deposit £140,700 between December 2019 and October 2020 but prior to a SOF check in August 2020, the operator based its knowledge of the customer’s source of wealth on open-source searches
  • allowing customers to stake large amounts of money without having been monitored or scrutinised – one betting shop customer was allowed to stake a total of £168,000 on shop terminals over eight months before the operator carried out due diligence checks.
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