14 Jun 2019
Two online gaming companies will pay a combined £2.8 million for anti-money laundering (AML) compliance lapses related to client bets made with ill-gotten gains, the UK Gambling Commission said.
The fines against Osaka-based Platinum Gaming Ltd and London-based Gamesys Ltd follow a combined £4.5 million in monetary outlays ordered by the commission in May against four online gaming companies that failed to implement sufficient AML controls and protect their customers from gambling harm.
In an enforcement action issued Thursday, the supervisory body said that Platinum Gaming breached AML rules by allowing a convicted fraudster to spend nearly £630,000 on online wagers without the firm conducting enhanced due diligence (EDD) checks on the individual, including making a timely inquiry about the source of the customer’s funds.
Although the gaming company deemed the individual “high-risk” and filed a suspicious activity report (SAR) following an 11-day losing streak by the bettor that began in February 2017, the firm failed to follow up on its suspicions by requesting more information about the fraudster’s funds, the commission said.
Platinum Gaming ultimately closed the individual’s account in November 2017, weeks after the client had returned and resumed losses that totaled 10 times the amount previously wagered. Shortly before the closure, the firm sent the customer a questionnaire seeking additional information on the funds, but the individual declined to fill it out, the commission said.
“There were weaknesses in Platinum Gaming’s systems and, as a consequence, more than half a million pounds of stolen money flowed through the business,” said Gambling Commission Executive Director Richard Watson, in a statement.
On Wednesday, the supervisory body disclosed a £1.2 million penalty against the Gibraltar-based holding company of Gamesys Ltd for failing to prevent three individuals from gambling with stolen money between 2014 and 2016. The firm failed to verify its clients’ identities and implement EDD checks, such as ongoing monitoring and requests for information on the origins of their funds.
The Gambling Commission, which as a non-departmental public body licenses and regulates gambling in Great Britain, also cited both companies for falling short of their social obligations to protect clients from reckless betting.
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