In the United Kingdom and the Gambling Commission regulator has announced that it has hit the operator behind the Betfred.com and OddsKing.com iGaming domains with a fine of £2.87 million ($3.12 million).
The watchdog used a Wednesday press release to detail that the penalty against Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited was imposed after an official investigation turned up a number of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures. The regulator stated that the punishment comes about a month after it reprimanded iGaming operator SpreadEx Limited to the tune of £1.36 million ($1.61 million) and also encompassed the issuance of an ‘official warning’.
The Gambling Commission declared that the social responsibility shortcomings exhibited by Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited included having ‘no controls in place to prevent large levels of high velocity spend by new customers’. The regulator explained that it discovered that one customer had been permitted to lose about £70,000 ($76,000) over a ten-hour period only one day after opening their account.
Established in 2007, the Gambling Commission moreover proclaimed that it had castigated Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited for having automatic ‘safer gambling interaction triggers’ that were set too high and not subsequently being followed ‘in a timely manner’ by obligatory ‘safer gambling account reviews’. The body noted that one related punter was only contacted after having deposited £20,700 ($22,500) and then losing £10,200 ($11,100) but then ignored for approximately four months until they had parted with a further £323,715 ($351,800) and lost £69,371 ($75,400).
Regarding the anti-money laundering failures exhibited by Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited and the Gambling Commission’s Enforcement and Intelligence Director, Leanne Oxley, pronounced that the iGaming operator had not fully accounted for ‘the money laundering and terrorist financing risks connected to its business’. The experienced official went on to assert that these shortcomings had furthermore encompassed ‘particular risks connected to country or geographic area, customers, transactions and product and services’ alongside insufficient thresholds, policies, procedures and controls.
The Gambling Commission professed that Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited was additionally found wanting when it came to providing its customers with sufficient information on the risks associated with money laundering and had exhibited ‘no evidence of ongoing monitoring prior to initial financial triggers being reached’. To make matters worse and the regulator declared that the iGaming firm had ‘provided inadequate employee training’, fell short in conducting ‘sufficient anti-money laundering, customer due diligence and source of funds checks’ and did not adequately investigate transactions to make sure these ‘were consistent with their knowledge of the customer and their risk profile.’
Read a statement from Oxley…
“This is a further example of us taking action to investigate and sanction alarming failures. We expect this gambling business and all other licensees to review this case and look closely to see if they need to make further improvements to demonstrate active compliance. Where standards do not improve, tougher enforcement will follow.”