The Gambling Commission has imposed a fine of £1.32 million on gambling operator LeoVegas for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
The company operates various websites including leovegas.com, slotboss.co.uk, pinkcasino.co.uk, betuk.com and 21.co.uk.
The Gambling Commission is also imposing an official warning and requiring LeoVegas to undergo an audit with the aim of ensuring that it is effectively implementing its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures, and controls.
According to the Gambling Commission, social responsibility failures included:
- setting spend triggers for Safer Gambling Team customer review significantly higher than the average customer’s spend without any explanation about why this was appropriate;
- setting six hours as the point at which customers were made to take a 45-minute cool off period without explaining how they concluded that playing for six hours was the point at which harm would occur;
- not acting on their own policy of interacting with customers exhibiting indicators of harm including denied deposits, cancelled withdrawals, long gameplay sessions, or gambling sessions occurring late at night or early in the morning; and
- not sufficiently taking into account the Commission’s 2019 guidance on customer interaction.
The Gambling Commission’s investigation found the following anti-money laundering failures:
- financial triggers for anti-money laundering reviews being too high and unrealistic to effectively manage money laundering and terrorist financing risks;
- relying too heavily on ineffective threshold triggers and inadequate information regarding how much a customer should be allowed to spend based on their income or wealth, or any other risk factor; and
- inappropriate controls allowing significant levels of gambling spend to take place within a short space of time without knowing anything about customers’ financial situations.
The case is another illustration of the importance of ensuring that operators’ procedures comply with the rules. As well as this, the procedures should be based on robust analysis and be applied correctly in practice.
We will continue to take action against other operators if they do not learn the lessons our enforcement work is providing. This case is a further example of operators failing to protect customers and failing to be alive to money laundering risks within their business