The UK Gambling Commission took a couple of regulatory actions in the previous months, and it seems that they have no intention of stopping in the period that follows. Their commitment to improving customer protection continues, and just last week, two operators have lost their licences.
Another operator that failed to comply with UKGC requirements is Caesars Entertainment that was fined £13m. In addition, the Commission published its Business Plan for 2020/21, which includes its measures to reduce gambling harm.
As part of the UKGC enforcement activities, the online gambling business Triplebet has also been ordered to pay a £739,000 fine. Now, the Commission published the reasons for suspending Triplebet’s licence.
Triplebet is accused of money laundering failings
Triplebet is a gambling company that operates a betting exchange and a remote casino named ‘Matchbook’. In February, it was revealed that Triplebet’s licence was suspended due to serious social responsibility and money laundering failings. As a result, Triplebet has been ordered to pay £739,000 and yesterday, the Gambling Commission has published its reason for the suspension.
The investigation found failings in Triplebet’s approach to anti-money laundering, the monitoring of business relationships and due diligence checks into members of gambling syndicates. What’s more, the Commission found serious failings in Triplebet’s approach to social responsibility.
As it stands in the Gambling Commission’s release, there was a case when a player was able to gamble a large sum of money in a period of two days without any interaction. Moreover, another player registered, played and self-excluded the same day, and was able to reopen his account six months later. Then, he played 10 hours a day and lost a large amount of money without any monitoring by the operator.
UKGC found deficiencies in Triplebet’s AML policies
The Gambling Commission said it found that Triplebet’s anti-money laundering policies were deficient, including:
- a failure in establishing objective circumstances that would trigger a risk reclassification for customers;
- a failure in setting out the specific enhanced due diligence measures which would be implemented for particular categories of a high-risk customer;
- a failure in providing guidelines for when to undertake source of funds/wealth checks;
- a failure in providing adequate recordings of customer interactions.
As an example of these failures, the Commission said that Triplebet allowed a customer to wager £2m in a single day without any source of funds or source of wealth being required. Another customer was allowed to deposit and withdraw a large amount of money without any gambling activity which should’ve been recognised as potential money laundering. Still, Triplebet failed to carry out any checks on the customer other than verifying his identity and address one year earlier.
Furthermore, Triplebet failed to prepare risk profiles or check the source of funds of Matchbook’s top ten customers. The operator also failed to record any meetings with these customers. Triplebet allowed customers to transfer money to other customers or accounts, including abroad, without control that would attach to banking transactions for similar amounts.
Neil McArthur, chief executive of UKGC, said that the Commission has already made it clear that operators must put player protection a priority of their activities, and ensure that they have effective anti-money laundering processes. He added that the Commission will continue its regulatory actions and all operators must learn the lessons from such cases.