We published several times that the UK Gambling Commission fined an operator for not adhering to its rulers and regulations. While in 2019 it received an award for being the best online casino in 2018, Leo Vegas now faces a fine which totals £1.2 million.
Leo Vegas will pay this amount for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. There are several gambling sites under its belt. These are leovegas.com, slotboss.co.uk, pinkcasino.co.uk, betuk.com and 21.co.uk. They will also receive an official warning and undergo an audit of the implementation of its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls.
Leanne Oxley, who is the Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement and Intelligence said they identified this through focused compliance activity and that they will continue to take action against other operators if they do not learn the lessons our enforcement work is providing.
Social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures
As for the failures, there are several of each type. One social responsibility failure refers to the setting of the spend triggers for the Safer Gambling Team customer review. They are set significantly higher than the average customer spend.
Another refers to setting 6 hours as the point at which customers were made to take a 45-minute cool-off period. Here it wasn’t clear how the operator came to a conclusion playing for 6 hours is the point that would harm the player.
Avoiding their own policy for interacting with customers includes denied deposits, cancelled withdrawals, long gameplay sessions, and gambling sessions occurring late at night or early in the morning. Another socially responsible failure is that the operator didn’t take enough into consideration the Commission’s guidance from 2019 on customer interaction.
As for the anti-money laundering failures, the UK Gambling Commission noted the following three:
- 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.