Published: April 5, 2024

UK Gambling Commission directs bet365 to pay $738K for anti-money laundering, social responsibility failures

The UK's Gambling Commission has imposed a penalty of £582,120 ($738,035) on sports betting giant bet365, citing failures in anti-money laundering (AML) measures and social responsibility protocols.

Hillside (UK Gaming) ENC, which holds a licence for bet365’s bingo and casino products, is mandated to pay £343,035 ($434,769) and Hillside (UK Sports) ENC, which holds a licence to offer betting, will pay £239,085 ($303,021).

The total fine amount will be directed towards socially responsible causes as part of a regulatory settlement with the Commission. The failings were discovered during a Commission compliance assessment in March 2022.

Social responsibility failures included:

  • Interactions with customers were frequently not tailored to the specific customer journey or spectrum of harm and therefore interactions were not meaningful
  • An Early Risk Detection System was not demonstrably effective in understanding the impact of individual interactions on a customer’s behaviour and whether further action was required
  • Its approach to evaluation meant that it was unable to effectively ascertain whether a customer had read and understood the information or advice provided within its interactions.

Anti-money laundering failures included:

  • Having enhanced customer due diligence and know-your-customer triggers that were ineffective at managing money laundering risk.
  • Failing to undertake financial sanctions checks on new customers prior to their first deposits
  • Failing to undertake independent verification checks and over-relied on customers’ annual self-verification of know-your-customer information, such as identification documents
  • Its procedure document contained inadequate detail as to who would be deemed “at risk” and “not at risk” for customer risk profiling.

“The policy and procedural failings may not have been as severe as those at other gambling businesses in recent years but they were failings nonetheless,” Kay Roberts, Executive Director of Operations, said.

"We expect high standards from operators in terms of keeping gambling safe, fair and crime-free, and will always take action to correct any failings. This operator is very aware that a repeat of these failings will result in escalating regulatory action."

This fine follows previous penalties issued by the Commission, including a £6 million ($7.6 million) sanction against Gamesys in January for comparable AML and social responsibility shortcomings, as well as a £3.25 million ($4.1 million) penalty levied on Betfred in July.

Among other significant industry penalties, Entain faced a £585 million ($741 million) fine from HMRC last August for violations of Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010.

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