The Gambling Commission has recently been fining companies for various infractions. A recent example is Betway’s fine for marketing material that was shown on children’s pages of West Ham United’s site. They also fined Smarkets for AML breaches, and Entain for their £17 million financial penalty. The commission has a history of issuing fines against some of the other big companies: LeoVegas was issued with a warning and a £1.2 million fine for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
GGPoker fined by UKGC
In its latest wave of regulatory action, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has fined online poker operator GGpoker for failing to protect consumers and prevent money laundering.
The UKGC said that GGpoker failed to comply with social responsibility and anti-money laundering regulations. specifically, the Commission found that the operator:
- Failed to conduct proper source of funds checks on customers
- Failed to properly monitor customers’ gambling activity
- Allowed customers to deposit and gamble large sums of money without any effective checksGGpoker has acknowledged its failings and has taken steps to improve its compliance with UKGC regulations.
The operator has been found guilty of breaking self-exclusion rules and failing to interact with at-risk customers. The company failed to identify or interact with consumers who displayed signs of problem gambling and sent marketing materials to a hundred or more self-excluded players. The company really wasn’t set up to properly monitor shifty behaviors like money laundering.
What the future holds for GGPoker
The future looks bright for GGPoker. The online poker room has been fined by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for failing to protect vulnerable customers but has taken steps to improve its operations.
GGPoker has also been working hard to expand its reach in Europe and other markets. In September, the poker room launched in Italy with a partnership with Lottomatica. And just last week, GGPoker announced a new partnership with partypoker that will see the two rooms share player pools in select markets.
Fines Issued by the UKGC in 2022
Online casino NSUS Limited fined £672,000
Petfre (Gibraltar) Ltd – trading as Betfred and Oddsking – fined £2.9m
Betway faces £400,000 fine for marketing on children’s webpages
Online gambling business Spreadex Limited to pay £1.36 million
Entain to pay £17 million for regulatory failures
Smarkets handed six-figure fine by Gambling Commission
Online operator LeoVegas fined £1.32 million
Suspension of licence – bet-at-home.com Internet Limited
Online gambling businesses face £675,000 regulatory action
Information notice: Suspension of licence – Goldchip Limited
National Lottery operator to pay £3.15m fine
£1.17m fine for marketing to vulnerable consumers
£9.4m fine for online operator 888
Online gambling business faces £2m regulatory action
Partnership work successfully shuts down illegal Facebook lotteries
Licence suspension and £3.8m fine for Genesis Global Limited
The Sanctions Levied Against NSUS Limited
Following a review of the operating licence undertaken against NSUS Limited (the Licensee), the Commission found that the Licensee:
• breached paragraphs1, 2 and 3 of licence condition 12.1.1 –Anti-Money Laundering (Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing)
• breached licence condition 12.1.2. –Anti-Money Laundering (Measures for operators based in foreignjurisdictions)
• failed to comply with social responsibility code of practice (SRCP) 3.4.1 –Customer Interaction
In line with the Commission’s Licensing, compliance and enforcement policy statement, the Indicative sanctions guidance and the Statement of principles for determining financial penalties, the Commission has decided to:
- impose a warning under section 117 (1) (a) of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act)
- impose a financial penalty of £672,829under section 121 of the Act. The Licensee cooperated with the Commission throughout the investigation.