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United Kingdom Gambling Commission Issues £6m Fine to Gamesys

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The Gambling Commission of Great Britain has hit Gamesys with a £6 fine for a range of social responsibility failings and anti-money laundering (AML) measures.

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) said that the failings were uncovered when it carried out a compliance assessment in May 2022 and that the fine was due to events that took place between November 2021 and July 2022.

Gamesys, which is owned by Ballys Corporation, operates sixteen UK-facing gambling sites including Ballycasino.co.uk and Jackpotjoy.com. In addition to the fine, the operator must undergo a thorough third-party audit to verify the effective implementation of AML and safer gambling policies.

Our focus as a regulator is to ensure that operators are employing policies and procedures which make gambling fair, safe and crime-free. We take this responsibility extremely seriously. Whenever we find failures in policies and procedures then the business can expect significant regulatory action.

Kay RobertsUKGC Executive Director of Operations

Social Responsibility Failings at Gamesys

The Gambling Commission's announcement highlighted several incidents where Gamesys failed in terms of social responsibility. The company was found lacking in identifying customers at risk of problem gambling.

In one instance, no risk was flagged when a customer deposited £8,255 within days of opening an account. Another customer lost nearly £6,000 within weeks, and a third lost over £17,000 in just over a month.

The Commission also noted that Gamesys failed to adequately interact with customers showing signs of gambling harm. In one case, a consumer lost over £19,000 in five months with only one responsible gambling interaction from the company. In a second instance, the operator didn’t contact a player until they lost close to £10,000 and upon doing so, they recommended new games and promotions.

Anti-Money Laundering Shortcomings

In regards to AML concerns, the Commission identified several areas where Gamesys fell short. These included customers circumventing AML measures and depositing large sums without adequate checks. For example, one member deposited over £34,000 in less than six months without triggering AML checks. The Commission also criticized Gamesys for insufficient customer due diligence and over-reliance on third-party information or verbal assurances from customers.

Gamesys’ License Breaches

The Commission released details of specific breaches of license conditions by Gamesys, including failure to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing (paragraph two of license condition 12.1.1 AML), as well as measures for operators based abroad (paragraph one of license condition 12.1.2 AML).

In addition, the regulator found Gamesys had failed to comply with paragraphs one and two of Social Responsibility Code of Practice (SRCP) 3.4.1 relating to customer interaction as well as Ordinary Code Provision (OCP) 2.1.1 AML.

Despite these issues, the Commission acknowledged that Gamesys cooperated throughout the investigation and has taken steps to rectify the problems. It also found zero evidence that the customers examined in the review were depositing criminal monies.

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