UK.- The spread betting and fixed-odds betting operator, SpreadEx, has become the latest operator to face regulatory action from the British Gambling Commission. It will pay a £1.36m penalty for a series of social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings.
The action comes just a week after the Gambling Commission issued the biggest financial penalty in its history with a £17m fine for Entain. Other operators to have been hit with penalties this year include 888 (£9.4m), LeoVegas (£1.32m) and Sky Bet (£1.17m).
SpreadEx runs financial and sports spread betting and fixed-odds sports betting at SpreadEx.com and sponsors Championship football team Sunderland AFC. The Gambling Commission found that it used ineffective financial alerts to identify customers at risk of harm and allowed customers to lose “significant amounts” of money over a short period of time.
The regulator also said that SpreadEx had failed to record and evaluate customer interactions. It highlighted a case in which a customer deposited £1.7m and lost £500,000 in one month. SpreadEx failed to evaluate the effectiveness of restricting the account.
On the AML side, one player met a £25,000 financial deposit alert and was able to increase the review alert for further review to £100,000 based only on a self-declaration of income and open source check. Another customer deposited £365,000 and lost £284,000 over three months despite sources of funds not being sufficiently established. Another player had redacted bank statements accepted as proof of funds.
Gambling Commission director of enforcement and intelligence, Leanne Oxley, said SpreadEx has responded quickly to the failings and encouraged other operators to do the same.
She said: “Whilst it is disappointing to see anti-money laundering and social responsibility breaches occur despite our extensive published cases highlighting similar failures, we note the swift and robust action the licensee took to bring itself back to compliance.”