£6.1m fine for online operator In Touch Games
25 January 2023
A gambling business will pay a £6.1m penalty after a Gambling Commission investigation revealed social responsibility and money laundering failings.
In Touch Games – which operates 11 websitesincluding bonusboss.co.uk, cashmo.co.uk, drslot.co.uk, jammymonkey.com and slotfactory.com – failed a compliance assessment last March.
Social responsibility failures included:
- Not interacting with a customer until seven weeks after they had been flagged for interaction for erratic play patterns and extended periods of play.
- Accepting a customer’s word that they earned £6,000 a month without verifying this information after the customer account was flagged due to customer spend and gambling during unsociable hours.
Anti-money laundering failures included:
- Not adequately taking account of the risk of a customer being a beneficiary of a life insurance policy ; having links to high-risk jurisdictions; or being a politically exposed person (“PEP”), family member of a PEP or known close associates of a PEP, within its money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment.
- Not having policies, procedures and controls in place to address the risk factors mentioned above
- Not sufficiently considering the Commission’s money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment or the Commission’s guidance
- Not ensuring its policies, procedures and controls were implemented effectively, for example not following its own policy to request source of funds information from customers who had deposited and lost £10,000 in a 12-month period.
This is the third time ITG have faced regulatory action – in 2019 it paid a £2.2m settlement for regulatory failures and in 2021 it received a £3.4m fine and warning for further failures.
Kay Roberts, Executive Director of Operations, said: “Considering this operator’s history of failings we expected to see significant improvement when we carried out our planned compliance assessment. Disappointingly, although many improvements had been made, there was still more to do.
“This £6.1m fine shows that we will take escalating enforcement action where failures are repeated and all licensees should be acutely aware of this.”UK Gambling Commission Press Release
The penalty detail:
Decision date: 8 March 2021
Outcomes: Conditions attached to the licence, Financial penalty and Warning
Details of action
Following a review of the operating licence undertaken against In Touch Games (the Licensee), the Commission found that the Licensee:
- breached paragraph 1 and 3 of licence condition 12.1.1. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) – Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
- breached paragraph 1 and 2 of Licence Condition 7.1.1 (Fair and transparent terms and practices)
- failed to comply with paragraph 1 of social responsibility code provision (SRCP) 3.1.1 (Combating problem gambling)
- failed to comply with paragraph 1(e) of SRCP 3.4.1 (Customer Interaction)
- failed to comply with paragraphs 1 and 2 of SRCP 5.1.9 (Other marketing requirements)
- failed to act in accordance with the principles of Ordinary code provision (OCP) 2.1.1 (Anti-money laundering)
In line with the Commission’s Licensing, compliance and enforcement policy statement, the Indicative sanctions guidance and the Statement of principles for determining financial penalties, the
Commission has decided to:
- attach additional condition to the Licensee’s operating licence under section 117(1)(b) of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act.)
- Issue a formal warning in respect of breaches of licence conditions identified.
- impose a financial penalty of £3.4 million.
The Licensee has co-operated with the Commission throughout the investigation.
UK Gambling Commission Press Release, Penalty
Categories: Anti-Money Laundering Civil Monetary Penalties Enforcement Actions UK Gambling Commission updates
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