UKGC fined VGC Leeds Limited for a series of failures

Simona Boshkova | Published 14 Oct 2021, 8:10 a.m.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is a regulatory body that licences, regulates, and provides guidance to individuals and businesses that offer gambling in the UK. 

As part of its work to raise standards across the UK gambling industry, the UKGC is investigating gaming operators on a regular basis. At the same time, the regulator supports and funds different organisations that care about safer gambling, including a new three-year regional public health program.

One of the latest investigations that UKGC conducted was into VGC Leeds Limited, the company that runs Victoria Gate Casino. The results revealed social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures that this company made.

VGC Leeds Limited to pay £450,000

According to the announcement by the UKGC released yesterday, VGC Leeds Limited is going to pay £450,000. This comes after the Commission revealed social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures at the business. 

VGC Leeds Limited will pay the money as part of a regulatory settlement agreed with the Commission.

There were some concerns about VGC’s work during a compliance assessment in 2019, which caused the Commission to launch an investigation into the company’s work. 

The investigation found that VGC Leeds Limited failed to identify customers at risk of gambling-related harm. It also failed to implement effective AML controls.

As stated by the Commission, one player was allowed to incur losses of £275,000 over a 22-month period before the casino asked for the source of their funds. 

Helen Venn, UKGC Executive Director, commented: “All operators should be very aware that we will not hesitate to take action against those who fail to follow rules that are in place to make gambling safer and prevent it from being a source of crime.

“Consumer protection should be an operator’s main priority and we would advise every gambling business to read today’s public statement, so they do not make the same mistakes as VGC.”

VGC fully cooperated with UKGC and has committed to an ongoing program of improvements to fix the failures highlighted by the regulator.

UKGC opens inquiry into Sorare.com

In the meantime, the UK Gambling Commission has opened an inquiry into Sorare.com, a popular NFT fantasy soccer game. Sorare raised $680 million at a $4.3 billion valuation in a Series B funding round last month. For that reason, UKGC has decided to start an investigation.

In the announcement that the Commission made, the regulator said that Sorare “operates outside of the gambling regulations that a licensed operator should comply with”. Now, UKGC is looking into whether the company should be required to have a gambling license. 

The regulator also advises consumers to consider this information when deciding whether or not to interact with Sorare.com

About Sorare

Sorare is a fantasy game of football where players buy, sell, trade, and manage a virtual team with digital player cards. Developed in 2018 by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort, it uses blockchain technology based on Ethereum. It has partnered with 100 soccer clubs including household names like Real Madrid and Liverpool.

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