Further significant fines imposed on online gambling operators

The Gambling Commission has today published public statements in relation to AML and social responsibility failings by four of its licensed operators (two of which are based in Malta), in relation to which a total of £4.5million in financial penalties has been imposed, adding to the approximate £28million penalty packages imposed by the Commission on operators last year.

These all arise from the Commission’s major crackdown on online casinos for such failings at the beginning of 2018, on which we have previously reported here and in respect of which:

You can read about:

  • similar findings by the Commission last November against three other operators (with financial penalties totalling nearly £14million) here and
  • its subsequent warning that it will hold individuals to account where they are responsible for an operator’s failings here.

The Commission’s website announcement today reads as follows:

Four gambling businesses are to pay a total of £4.5m in penalty packages as part of the Gambling Commission’s ongoing investigation into the online casino sector.

InTouch Games Limited will pay £2.2m, Betit Operations Limited will pay £1.4m, MT Secure Trade will pay £700,000 and BestBet Limited will pay a total of £230,972.

The penalty packages relate to the businesses failings to put in place effective safeguards to prevent money laundering and keep consumers safe from gambling harm.

The penalty packages form part of an ongoing investigation into the online casino sector. Over the last 18 months the regulator has conducted assessments of, or engaged with, 123 online operators – and, of the 45 told to submit an action plan to raise standards, 38 have already showed signs of improvement. A further 34 were compliant with standards expected by the Commission or had minor issues which have been, or are in the process of being, remedied.

Since the investigation began, five operators have surrendered their licence and can no longer transact with consumers in Britain. In November 2018, [the Commission] imposed nearly £14m in penalties on three companies as result of their failings to put in place effective safeguards to prevent money laundering and keep consumers safe from gambling-related harm.

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said:

“We have been working hard to raise standards in the online industry to ensure that gambling is crime-free and that the one in five people in Britain who gamble online every month can do so safely. But our work will not stop here. As a regulator, we will continue to set and enforce standards that the industry must comply with to protect consumers. 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.”

You can download below each of the public statements or, alternatively, click below to:

Download article PDF: Public statement Bestbet Limited