UKGC sanctions Mr Green following insufficient AML controls

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has sanctioned operator Mr Green with a £3m penalty package, as part of the regulatory body’s ongoing investigation into the online casino sector. 

Deeming ten-year-old evidence of a £176,000 claims payout as satisfactory proof of source of funds (SOF) for a customer who deposited over £1m. The evidence was cited as one of the key reasons for Mr Green’s sanctioning. 

Alongside this, the firm was also found to have fallen short in terms of social responsibility interaction with a customer who won £50,000, gambled it away and deposited thousands more pounds, as well as accepting insufficient evidence from a customer for a source of crypto funds. 

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, emphasised: “Our investigation uncovered systemic failings in respect of both Mr Green’s social responsibility and AML controls which affected a significant number of customers across its online casinos.

“Consumers in Britain have the right to know that there are checks and balances in place which will help keep them safe and ensure gambling is crime-free – and we will continue to crack down on operators who fail in this area.”

Mr Green also accepted that between 1 November 2014 and 7 November 2018 it did not have effective policies and procedures in place for customers who may be displaying signs of problem gambling.

This led to Mr Green not always identifying and interacting with customers who were displaying signs of problem gambling and, even when the customer interaction process was triggered, there was a failure to follow up with an interaction. Where interactions did take place, these were not always recorded.

The operator acknowledged that it has learned considerably from these cases and has invested in improving its AML and responsible gambling processes. It also affirmed that it is committed to working with the industry to raise standards, particularly in relation to safer gambling.

Mr Green is the ninth gambling business to face action as part of a regulator probe that has led to more than £20m in penalty packages since 2018. The online casino enforcement work is in addition to the Commission’s ongoing strategy to make gambling online safer.

This has included strengthened online age and identity verification, enhanced rules and guidance on identifying and interacting with customers who may be at risk of harm and the banning of credit cards. The regulator is also pushing the industry to raise standards in the areas of VIP practices, advertising technology and game design, whilst also currently looking at online stake limits.