10.01.2024

by Antoni Majewski

Gamesys Operations Ltd Hit with £6 Million Penalty for AML and Social Responsibility Failures

Gamesys Operations Limited, the operator of prominent online gambling sites, faces a hefty £6 million penalty for serious failings in anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility, following a thorough investigation by the Commission.

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The Commission’s investigation into Gamesys Operations Limited, which runs 16 websites including ballycasino.co.uk and jackpotjoy.com, exposed critical shortcomings in both social responsibility and AML practices. This has led to a substantial £6 million penalty and the requirement for a third-party audit to ensure compliance with AML and safer gambling policies.

Social Responsibility Oversights

Key social responsibility lapses identified include:

  • Inadequate identification of customers at risk of gambling harm.
  • Over-reliance on historical financial difficulties as indicators of gambling harm.
  • Insufficient deposit limits to flag potential harm, with examples of significant losses occurring over short periods.
  • Ineffective interaction with customers showing signs of gambling harm, including delayed and inappropriate responses.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Shortcomings

The AML failures were equally concerning, involving:

  • Customers evading AML triggers and spending large sums without due checks.
  • Over-reliance on third-party information for customer due diligence.
  • A policy for the reinvestment of winnings that failed to mitigate risks of illegitimate fund sources.

Regulatory Authority’s Stance

Kay Roberts, Executive Director of Operations, emphasized the regulator’s commitment to ensuring fair, safe, and crime-free gambling. She stated that significant regulatory action is expected when businesses fail to comply with necessary policies and procedures.

A Wake-Up Call for the Online Gambling Industry

The hefty penalty and subsequent actions mandated for Gamesys Operations Limited serve as a stark reminder of the importance of robust AML and social responsibility practices in the online gambling industry. These findings highlight the need for continuous vigilance and improvement in customer protection and anti-money laundering efforts.

As the industry continues to grow, operators must prioritize these areas to ensure a safe and fair gambling environment. This incident not only reinforces the regulator’s stringent stance but also sets a precedent for the level of compliance expected in the sector.

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