UKGC sanctions EU Lotto over money laundering shortcomings

EU Lotto has been sanctioned with a £760,000 fine from the UK Gambling Commission following an investigation over alleged ‘social responsibility and money laundering failures’.

The lottery firm, which trades under the name, has also received a formal warning for the offences committed between October 2019 and November 2020. 

After the investigation, UKGC alleged that EU Lotto failed to protect its customers from harm by not detecting changing deposit limits on customer accounts whilst failing to conduct financial tests to examine customer affordability. 

Meanwhile, the Commission has charged the lottery operator with not effectively reviewing or analysing bank statements provided to prove customer addresses and allowing customers to register debit or credit cards that belong to somebody else to their account, raising concerns relating to fraudulent activity. 

Finally, concerns were raised pertaining to the reliance on ‘ineffective threshold triggers’ in relation to how much a customer should be allowed to spend based on previous habits and income. 

Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director, commented: “This case, like other recent enforcement action, was the result of planned compliance activity. All operators should be very aware that we will not hesitate to take firm action against those who fail to meet the high standards we expect for consumers in Britain.”

EU Lotto will now be the subject of  ‘extensive independent auditing’ to monitor future activity and ensure that the operator fixes these issues to protect customers. 

Nigel Birrell, CEO of Lottoland added in response to the charges: “Lottoland is fully committed to ensuring the highest standards of compliance, including its anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations in all of the jurisdictions in which it operates. 

“The Gambling Commission fine was related to legacy issues around some of our compliance controls which have now been addressed. Lottoland has extensive compliance measures in place and we are confident that our current policies and processes meet all relevant standards. 

“Remedial action taken included significantly increased investment in our compliance function, more than doubling headcount, alongside a host of other initiatives including bringing in third-party support, enhancing training and a review of key policies. In addition, we recently committed to building our individual processes into an automated system to improve the system even further.”