5 Online Gambling Sites in UK May Lose Licenses

A slew of online casino sites that have UK gaming licenses are facing potential loss of their gaming licenses as the UK Gambling Commission has warned that they aren't doing enough to stop criminals from laundering money, with five facing the strongest scrutiny.

The UKGC wrote to seventeen betting groups to express their concerns relating to an investigation related to problem betting controls, anti-money laundering, and terrorist financing. Five of the seventeen are facing licensing reviews, which could see them lose their ability to operate within the country. The charges are pretty severe, as the regulator says that the groups are hiring money laundering officials who have no qualifications and are unable to accurately describe money laundering. Suspected money laundering activity is also being under-reported, and when it is, there's a general lack of details given.

Additionally, the regulator has spotted punters exhibiting problem gambling symptoms in their online gameplay, but the activity didn't cause any investigations by the betting groups.

Speaking about the issue UK Labour Party member Tom Watson said, "This serious warning shows many online gambling companies acting as if money laundering and gambling addiction being facilitated on their platforms aren't their problem. The Gambling Commission is right to demand immediate improvement. No firm that fails to take its responsibilities seriously should be allowed to hold a licence."

UKGC CEO Sarah Harrison also spoke out, noting: "It is vital that the gambling industry takes its duty to protect consumers and keep crime out of gambling seriously. The Gambling Commission's new strategy sets out our vision for a fairer and safer gambling market."

"The action we are taking to examine online casino operators' compliance with money laundering and customer interaction requirements is just one example of how we will be relentless in turning that vision into reality."

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bgsharpe
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10 January 2018 - 6:23pm
#1

I wonder how exactly money laundering trough gambling works, are the criminals staking those huge amounts?
Anyway that seems to be the right approach from UKGC and whoever is not willing or just don't care to follow the rules for so serious problems like problem betting and money laundering should indeed loose their licences I think.

auCL-Ed
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11 January 2018 - 4:58am
#2

I wonder how long until it is revealed who the famous 5 are.

Money laundering through gambling would work by a criminal depositing their proceeds of crime into a casino, playing with it for a bit, then withdrawing it and claiming it was gambling winnings. Or even an operator using the casino to launder money gained from other activities.

I get the concerns about preventing money laundering and problem gambling, but I wish these authorities would stop with their rubbish about "terrorist financing". I am not aware of a single case of an online casino even being accused of, let alone busted, for anything to do with terrorism. It is pure and utter BS to claim otherwise.

sharpe

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bgsharpe
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11 January 2018 - 7:38pm
#3

Thanks Ed, I though that's the way funds being "laundered" but I just wasn't sure the criminals would be willing to risk at all their "hard earned money".
Amazed to know even you can't be sure which those top 5 in fact are.

auCL-Ed
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11 January 2018 - 11:55pm
#4

Yeah we've asked around but no-one is saying anything. That said, IMO the UKGC has been pretty lax about enforcing their standards on operators and there have been plenty of casinos licensed that are poorly run, or that have very player unfriendly terms. That makes guessing the 5 pretty difficult.

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