Land-based casinos face UKGC regulatory action

Published 1 Apr 2021, 8:27 a.m.

It has been a challenging period for the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) when it comes to its regulatory actions. About two weeks ago, the regulator fined InTouch Games for a series of compliance failings. At the same time, it was announced that Neil McArthur resigned as Gambling Commission CEO after nearly 15 years. Still, despite these challenges, a report from the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) showed that the UK gambling industry is one of the economy’s driving forces

Now, the regulator is continuing its job to maintain high standards and keep gambling operators responsible for their actions. Recently, it was announced that UKGC fined five land-based casinos following an assessment for their businesses.

A number of rules were broken

Five land-based casinos were found to have failed to follow social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules. This caused UKGC to review their operating licences and fine them with regulatory settlements. Richard Watson, UKGC Commission Executive Director, explained that the failures were identified as part of the regulator’s ongoing efforts to raise standards across the gambling industry.

As announced by the Gambling Commission, Clockfair Limited and Shaftesbury Casino Limited will both pay a £260,000 regulatory settlement while Les Croupiers Casino Limited will pay £202,500. Furthermore, Double Diamond Gaming Limited will pay £247,000 and A&S Leisure Group Limited will receive a warning and pay a £377,340 fine.

The land-based casino facing the largest fine is A&S Leisure. It was found to violate two paragraphs from its licence, associated with anti-money laundering. Moreover, both Clockfair and Shaftesbury casinos were found to have failed to identify customers at risk of gambling-related harm and to have failed to implement anti-money laundering measures.

When it comes to Double Diamond casino, UKGC found key failures related to anti-money laundering, safer gambling, and social responsibility. Finally, Les Groupiers casino was fined because it did not implement safer gambling controls and breached its licence condition for anti-money laundering and social responsibility.

Regulatory action against Casumo

In the meantime, the UKGC also announced that the online casino Casumo will pay a £6 million fine and undergo extensive auditing after an assessment found social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. As a result of the Commission investigation, Casumo will receive an official warning.

Regarding social responsibility failures, Casumo was found to have failed to put into effect policies and procedures for customer interaction where it has concerns that a customer’s activity may indicate problem gambling. This led to a number of customers losing a huge amount of money without being subject to responsible gambling interactions.

As for anti-money laundering failures, UKGC found that customers were allowed to deposit significant sums of money without sufficient AML checks being conducted at Casumo. Plus, Source of Funds (SOF) checks were insufficient, bank statements were not assessed appropriately, the checks of documentation for authenticity were inadequate, and there was no assessment of how much a customer should be allowed to spend based on known income.

As part of a new licence condition, Casumo must instruct a firm of independent auditors to carry out an audit. The audit should examine transactions that have taken place post 1 July 2020 to ensure that it has effectively implemented its new policies, procedures and controls.