Online gaming operator Betway will pay a record-setting £11.6 million fine after settling a case with the UK Gambling Commission over breaches for anti-money laundering and social responsibility regulations.
The fine was levied after the UKGC investigated Betway, and it was found that seven VIP players conducted business with the casino that were at high risk of money laundering or gambling addiction. Betway was found to have not carried out the required checks, and the fact that the failures stemmed between November 2014 and November 2017 warranted the higher fine amount.
One of these customers deposited more than £8 million and lost £4 million during the period, and the regulator found 51 times that Betway should have intervened with the customer, but the company only contacted the punter 12 times. The casino let the punter keep their account until police contacted them to inquire about the account.
Betway was found to be in be in breach of the social responsibility code provision 3.4.1(1) of the UK's Gambling Act as well as 12.1.2(1).
For their part, Betway admitted their culpability and will take steps to address the issues found on their part. They also agreed to the fine, which will go to repaying victims that had funds stolen by addicted gamblers, as well as paying out £5.8 million to the UKGC's National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harm.
Commenting on the matter UKGC CEO Richard Watson said, "As part of our ongoing programme of work to make gambling safer we are pushing the industry to make rapid progress on the areas that we consider will have the most significant impact to protect consumers. The treatment and handling of high value customers is a significant piece of that work and operators are in no doubt about the need to tackle the issue at speed.
"We have set tight deadlines for when we expect to see progress and if we do not see the right results then we will have no choice but to take further action," Watson added. "This case highlights again why progress needs to be made."
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