AML failures contribute to Gamesys £1.2m regulatory settlement


The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that online gambling operator Gamesys is set to pay £1.2m after breaching money laundering regulations and its failure to prevent gambling harms.

Following police investigations that revealed three individuals had spent stolen money with the gambling business, the regulator identified “historical weakness” in Gamesys’ AML controls between 2014 and 2016.

The investigation also revealed the operator failed to comply with money laundering regulations, including not establishing customers’ source of funds.

The findings read: “Due to the remote nature of the business relationship held with the customers, Gamesys should have taken additional steps to establish and verify the customers’ identities and scrutinised transactions undertaken by the customers (including source of funds).

“The 2007 Regulations required casino operators to be able to demonstrate that the extent of the ongoing monitoring is appropriate to the risk of money laundering. The Licensee failed to apply enhanced due diligence on a risk sensitive basis.“

Furthermore, UKGC discovered that Gamesys failed to deliver interaction that could have prevented gambling harms despite customer behaviour displaying signs that could indicate problem gambling.

As part of a settlement, Gamesys will reimburse £460,472 of stolen money to victims and pay £690,000 as a payment in lieu of a financial penalty.

UKGC said this money will be spent accelerating delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

Richard Watson, UKGC executive director, commented: “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.”