Betway to pay £11.6m penalty for money laundering failings

Simona Boshkova | Published 12 Mar 2020, 2:58 p.m.

In the previous months, there were quite a few new reports on casinos that were required to pay a certain penalty to the UK Gambling Commission. Just this year, due to its failure to deliver its responsibilities as a gambling company, Mr Green will pay £3m to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. What’s more, the regulator suspended Addison Global Operating Licence since the operator failed to carry on with its activities and to remain in accordance with the law.

After the UKGC announced that they will begin consultation on LCCP reporting changes, their activities continued with the operator Betway being accused of money laundering failings. As a result, the operator is supposed to pay £11.6m penalty to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. So far, this is the highest penalty that any casino had to pay.

Betway is charged for social responsibility and money laundering failings

Betway Casino is one of the most popular online casinos featuring a lot of live games, video poker games and slots. However, according to the UK Gambling Commission, Betway is to pay £11.6m for a series of social responsibility and money laundering failings connected to dealings with seven of its high-spending customers. 

In one occasion, Betway failed to carry out a source of funds checks on a VIP customer who deposited over £8m and lost over £4m in a period of four years. In addition, the operator failed to carry out social responsibility interactions with a customer who deposited and lost £187,000 in two days.

Moreover, the investigation found that Betway allowed £5.8m to flow through the business as a result of a lack of consideration of individual customers affordability and source of funds checks. According to the UKGC’s statement, the operator accepted the failings and has taken measures to improve its operations.

Richard Watson, the Executive Director of the UKGC, said that the actions of Betway showed that the operator failed to properly communicate with its VIP customers and the impact on those around them. He added that this situation illustrated why the operators’ management of high-value customers must change, as well as why the industry must do everything to protect its customers.

UKGC is pushing the industry to make progress in the most important areas

As part of the ongoing actions and work programme to make gambling safer, the UKGC is pushing the gambling industry to make rapid progress in the areas that have the most significant impact in protecting the customers. According to Mr Watson, the treatment and handling of high-value customers is the most important part of the UKGC actions and operators are required to solve the issues as soon as possible. The Commission set tight deadlines for when they expect to see progress. In case they don’t see any improvements, they will take further actions.

Last year, the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission Neil McArthur set the industry’s tough challenges to make gambling safer. One of the measures focused on the importance of high-value customers. This situation with Betway is proof that high-value customers are of great importance to the industry and progress needs to be made.