If you remember, last year we reported that International Multi-Media Entertainments (IMME) had its licence suspended in March 2020. IMME is the Isle of Man-based operator that runs betting site Lotteries.com was found guilty because Lotteries.com failed to comply with some important practices.
Now, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has officially published the conclusion of the investigation into IMME and announced that the operator lost its operating licence. This comes after the Commission fined Buzz Group Ltd for social responsibility and money laundering failures.
Meanwhile, UKGC published the Compliance And Enforcement Report featuring the findings of the regulator’s extensive casework against licence holders and detailing where the industry needs to raise standards.
Suitability, social responsibility, and money laundering failures
An investigation into IMME’s work was launched in 2020 and the operator’s licence got suspended, and now it has been concluded, revealing suitability, social responsibility, and money laundering failures. The UKGC also noted that IMME currently runs a lottery syndicate business that does not require a licence.
Regarding the lost licence, UKGC found a series of suitability failures. These include customers complaining of being called repeatedly by IMME sales agents, including one customer in her 90s who was called several times a week.
75% of its customers were over 60 years old and 20% were over 80 years old. According to the regulator, IMME had not considered the potential vulnerabilities of their customer base.
In terms of social responsibility failures, UKGC found that IMME was unable to evidence adequate safer gambling interactions with its customers to the Commission.
Also, there were no records of interactions with a customer (78 years old) who spent £63,951 in just over three months. Finally, one customer (74 years old) was allowed to deposit £9,379 in eight days without an adequate responsible gambling interaction.
Speaking of money laundering failures, IMME failed to obtain a source of funds evidence for a customer who was 100 years old at the time the Commission review was started and bet £23,839 in just five months.
Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director, said:
“We will not tolerate gambling businesses behaving in the way IMME did.
“Gambling operators in Britain must follow our social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules, and a failure to do this will lead to us taking tough action.
“We suspended IMME’s licence following initial concerns and - having delved even deeper into the business’s activities - discovered failures that would have inevitably led to complete licence revocation had the operator not surrendered it.
“There is no room in Britain’s gambling industry for operators who fail in the way IMME have.”