The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has warned local gambling companies that they will face the full regulatory consequences of their regulatory failures even in case the violations occurred prior to ownership.
The warning has come from the country’s major gambling regulatory body along with a monetary fine worth £5.85 million that has been faced by Daub Alderney following investigation findings of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures of the interactive gaming company, which is currently owned by The Rank Group.
The company, which operates a number of online gambling platforms, including asperts.com, spinandwin.com, regalwins.com, luckyvip.com, luckypantsbingo.com, kittybingo.com and magicalvegas.com, has also been formally warned for the aforementioned failures that occurred in the period between January 2019 and March 2020.
The Executive Director of the gambling regulatory body, Helen Venn, explained that the penalty came as a result of planned compliance activity of the UKGC. She further shared that every gambling company that operates in the territory of the UK should take that as notice for further regulatory action against every operator that fails to raise their standards.
Ms Venn said that the UK Gambling Commission accepted that a considerable number of Daub Alderney’s failures occurred before The Rank Group took over the company’s business in October 2019 and took some steps to improve the situation. However, she shared that the culpability of the company and the requisite penalty reflecting the failures could not be affected by the ownership changes, as the Licensee remains responsible for its actions.
Social Responsibility and Money Laundering Failures Found by the UKGC
As mentioned above, the UKGC found that Daub Alderney has breached some social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules, for which it suffered a £5.85-million fine.
The social responsibility failures of the gambling company included neglecting to enact customer interaction-related procedures and policies at times when the operator had been concerned that a customer’s activity may indicate problem gambling.
The UKGC found several examples of the company’s violations. In one of them, the staff members of the gambling company did nothing to prevent a customer from losing £43,410 in four months even after they showed signs of problem gambling behaviour. Another customer lost £40,500 in a month but Daub Alderney sent them only two messages promoting responsible gambling and a pop-up message which effectiveness has not been taken for evaluation by the gambling regulator. A third customer lost £39,000 in three-and-a-half months but was sent only one message promoting safer gambling, as well as two pop-up messages that were not evaluated for effectiveness.
The investigation held by the UK gambling regulatory body also found some anti-money laundering violations at Daub Alderney, such as holding inappropriate policies, controls and procedures in place to prevent terrorist financing and money laundering.
In its official release regarding the monetary fine imposed on the company, the UKGC mentioned several instances of these failures. One customer was allowed to lose a total of £53,000 in a period of 8 months, with the only source-of-funds evidence received by the company was aimed at establishing that the person actually lived in a house worth £233,000. Another customer was allowed to deposit £50,000 before the company even asked them to present evidence of their source of funds, while a third one was able to deposit £41,500 in a month without even providing adequate evidence of their source of funds.
So far, the owner of Daub Alderney – The Rank Group – has said it intends to appeal the UKGC fine to the First-Tier Tribunal.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.