AML and social responsibility failings cost Gamesys £1.2million

The Gambling Commission has today announced that, by way of a regulatory settlement, online gambling operator, Gamesys (Gibraltar) Limited trading as, is to pay £1.2million for failing to prevent gambling harm and breaching money laundering regulations.

The Public Statement setting out the terms of the regulatory settlement can be downloaded below.

This follows a Gambling Commission investigation into the operator’s processes after police investigations revealed three individuals had spent stolen money with Gamesys.

The Commission’s investigation revealed that:

  • despite customers displaying behaviour that could indicate problem gambling, Gamesys failed to deliver interaction that could have prevented harm and
  • it also failed to comply with money laundering regulations, including not establishing customers’ source of funds.

As part of a settlement with the Commission, Gamesys will return £460,472 of stolen money to victims and pay £690,000 as a payment in lieu of a financial penalty. This money will be spent accelerating delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

Other operators should note that, in determining the appropriate outcome, the Commission took the following factors into account:

  1. There were licence condition breaches for a sustained period of time. This impacted the licensing objectives – particularly preventing gambling from being used to support crime, and protecting vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
  2. Proactive and timely improvements taken by the Licensee to address the issues identified.
  3. The Licensee being open and transparent from the outset of the investigation, fully co- operative throughout and actively self-identifying the issues in each of the three cases.
  4. A demonstrable insight [by the Licensee] into the seriousness of the failings.
  5. Self-identification [by the Licensee] of the issues in each of the three cases.
  6. The nature of the Licensee, including their financial resources.

In the Public Statement, the Commission draws attention to its following publications as providing “useful guidance”:

Commenting on this latest regulatory settlement, Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, has said:

It is vital that operators understand their customers – track their online gambling and step in quickly when they suspect someone is suffering from gambling harm. These key steps and processes ensure they meet both their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations for all customers. Gamesys’ approach resulted in a variety of failings and saw stolen money flowing through the business – with customers being put at risk of gambling related harm.

Any other operators recognising in relation to their own business any similarity to the failings identified by the Gambling Commission in this case should seek immediate specialist advice. We are experienced in advising clients in such matters and invite anyone with (a) concerns about regulatory failings on the part of their business or (b) a desire to make improvements to their regulatory systems and controls to contact us as soon as possible.