UK Gambling Commission suspends Lotteries licence

Simona Boshkova | Published 19 Mar 2020, 10:44 a.m.

In the past few months, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) started a process to review the licences of the gambling operators. It was identified that Betway failed in terms of money laundering, i.e. failed to fully enforce the industry standards and requirements and is supposed to pay the highest penalty that any casino operator had to pay so far. And not just Betway, Mr Green is also fined for regulatory failures and will pay a penalty of £3m. In addition to these decisions, the UKGC has undertaken a review into the licence of International Multi-Media Entertainments Limited that operates the lottery betting site Lotteries.com

After the review, the UK Gambling Commission came to a conclusion to suspend the Lotteries.com licence. The suspension is immediately effective and comes after the UKGC announced that they had ongoing concerns with this operator due to lack of anti-money laundering practices and social responsibility failures.

Lotteries.com failed to comply with some important practices

According to section 118(2) of the Act, the UK Gambling Commission has decided to suspend the International Multi-Media Entertainment Limited which operates the lottery betting site Lotteries.com. The suspension comes as a result of the operator’s ability to offer remote facilities for remote casino and remote general betting standard. In addition, the operator has increased concerns to the UKGC due to its lack of anti-money laundering practices and ongoing social responsibilities that led to this suspension.

As we mentioned above, the suspension is effective immediately. The UK Gambling Commission has instructed the operator to make sure that it will be easier for customers to access their accounts in order to withdraw funds. Moreover, the UKGC will remain in contact with the International Multi-Media Entertainment Limited in case there is a need for clear and updated messaging for the customers.

The International Multi-Media Entertainments Limited is a gambling operator that is registered in the Isle of Man. It operates with the above-mentioned site Lotteries.com, as well as with the Thelotterycentre.com site which was not one of the operator’s domain names in the licence.

Guidelines in light of COVID-19 situation

Despite the current enforcement activities that the UKGC takes, the regulator also released information on how it will operate during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as some important information on how the operators should continue in order to protect the customers. Namely, the UKGC recognises that this outbreak will have a significant impact on businesses and for that reason, the Commission has a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan.

First of all, the Commission expects that all the licensees will follow the Public Health guidance and that they will ensure sufficient gambling management which will comply with the LCCP (licence conditions and codes of practice). When it comes to the fees and applications, the Commission expects that licensees will consider voluntary, partial, or full suspension of their offerings in case compliance is not achievable. Finally, the UKGC reminds online operators to act responsibly, especially in regards to individual customer affordability and increased social responsibility interactions. This period, more people will be staying at home, so online operators must intervene where customers are showing signs of gambling-related harm.