UKGC sanctions Betfred over AML and customer care failings

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has ordered Betfred’s Gibraltar-based subsidiary Petfre Limited to pay a £2.87m penalty over a social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

The regulatory settlement is due to social responsibility and AML discrepancies registered by the group for the period of October 2019 to December 2020. 

Petfre is accused of having limited controls in place to prevent “large levels of high velocity spend by new customers”. One customer was reported to have lost £70,000 in a 10-hour playing period the day after opening a new account.

Further customer care failings saw Petfre set “safer gambling interaction triggers too high” with no further safer gambling account reviews conducted in a timely manner by the business. 

The Commission’s report cited that one customer had only had a single customer care interaction in a period of four months in which he deposited £320,000 and lost £69,00

AML failings saw Petfre reprimanded for not having appropriate policies, procedures and controls in place to manage and mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing (MLTF) risks.

Betfred’s subsidiary is reported to have had insufficient information on customers and no dedicated monitoring procedures in place “prior to initial financial triggers being reached.”

Leanne Oxley, Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement and Intelligence, said: “This is a further example of us taking action to investigate and sanction alarming failures.

“We expect this gambling business and all other licensees to review this case and look closely to see if they need to make further improvements to demonstrate active compliance. Where standards do not improve, tougher enforcement will follow.”