Gamesys hit with £6m penalty by the UKGC

Gamesys hit with £6m penalty by the UKGC

Gamesys hit with £6m penalty by the UKGC
Gamesys, a company that focuses on online gambling operations, has become the latest to be hit with a penalty by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), and the first for 2024. The £6m fine was issued over what has become an almost customary reason for the regulator to take enforcement measures and cites social responsibility and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) failings. Gamesys operates a vast network of websites, a total of 16, which include jackpotjoy.com, ballycasino.co.uk, and others, and will now have to pay the penalty along with complying with further measures of strengthening its offer and ensuring that it meets a robust standard for AML and safer gambling policies. The company will have to use a third-party audit to ensure that it utilizes procedures and controls that allow it to strengthen its monitoring and avoid further incidents in the future. In outlining the breaches, the UKGC had a number of specific cases to refer to. In one instance, a person was able to deposit £8,255 without sufficient risk checking. UKGC Executive Director of Operations Kay Roberts said that the regulator remained vigilant and determined to enforce regulatory standards to the benefit of the consumer: “Our focus as a regulator is to ensure that operators are employing policies and procedures which make gambling fair, safe and crime-free.” Another user lost £5,968 within a five-week window, and yet another one lost £17,482 in a little over a month. The issue was that Gamesys had not “always identified customers at risk of experiencing gambling-related harm,” the regulator explained. The UKGC said that Gamesys interacted with one customer after they had lost £10,000, and with another one – once they had lost £19,709, which was insufficient to determine whether a person had indeed been suffering from gambling-related harm. Those interactions were further not noted down in sufficient detail, the UKGC added, emphasizing the seriousness of the alleged social responsibility failures. So far as AML shortcomings go, the UKGC cited several instances where customary checks were not carried out. Several cases were named in the regulator’s official statement, with one customer depositing £14,585 within 28 weeks and another placing down £18,884, without those checks being conducted. Yet another punter spent £34,280 in five and a half months, but they too did not trigger checks. Gamesys was also said to be using Internet searches or verbal confirmation for some of its checks, which the regulator strongly disapproves of. Those specific cases pertain to a customer who deposited £58,000 in six months, and another one who put down £65,000 in another six months. The UKGC concluded that without proper checks, there was no way of knowing whether the source of the funds was illicit. Image credit: Unsplash.com

11 JAN 2024

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