UK Gambling Commission takes ‘widespread action’ against against online casinos
Life in the UK-facing gambling industry has not been easy lately. Earlier this month Parliament approved a major tax increase on operators to go with a major reduction in the maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals. These two events alone are certain to have a major impact in revenue flowing into the industry. But wait, there’s more.
Along with the tax increases, operators have seen a major regulatory crackdown by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and a major spike in both the number of fines they’re issuing and the amount of those fines. Earlier this week, three UK online casino operators (Daub Alderney, Casumo, and Video Slots) were hit with a combined £14 million ($17.85 million USD) in fines for their failures to operate with “effective standards.”
Daub Alderney caught the brunt of the action with £7.1 million ($9 million); while Casumo paid out £5.85 million ($7.4 million); and VideoSlots walked away paying a mere £1 million ($1.28 million).
The companies’ violations mostly centered on their efforts to prevent problem gamblers from accessing their services. For example, it was found that while VideoSlots was conducting some basic checks on players who deposited the maximum deposit of €2,000 ($2,278) in a 24-hour period, they failed to conduct proper investigations into the sources of those funds.
UKGC CEO Neil McArthur lauded the actions in a statement saying, “It is not enough to have policies and procedures in place. Everyone in a gambling business must understand its policies and procedures and take responsibility for properly applying them. We expect operators to know their customers and to ask the right questions to make sure they meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.”
McArthur’s statement confirms what UK gambling operators already knew, that they need to mind their p’s and q’s as the Commission is keen on punishing anyone who steps out of line.
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