UKGC issues Touch Games with a £6.1M fine over AML failings

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued a £6.1 million fine to gambling company Touch Games due to anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures. 

This becomes the third penalty enacted by the UK governing body this year already and Touch Games’ third UKGC oversight in the last four years. The firm was penalised with a £2.2m and £3.4m fines back in 2019, as well as given a warning in 2021. 

Touch Games was charged with failing to flag customers’ “erratic” patterns and extended periods of play over a seven-week period. The UKGC also highlighted that the gambling firm allowed a user to earn up to £6,000 a month during “unsociable hours” without making the necessary checks. 

When the UKGC took a closer look at the firm’s AML controls, it found that Touch Games lacked when it pertained to users becoming beneficiaries of a life insurance policy or having lists to “high risk jurisdictions” within its AML and terrorist financing risk fields. 

“Considering this operator’s history of failings we expected to see significant improvement when we carried out our planned compliance assessment. Disappointingly, although many improvements had been made, there was still more to do,” said Kay Roberts, UKGC Executive Director of Operations. 

“This £6.1m fine shows that we will take escalating enforcement action where failures are repeated and all licensees should be acutely aware of this.”

The UKGC also outlined that Touch Games’ assessments had failed to address customers being politically exposed persons’ (PEPs) and/or being family members or known close associates of PEPs.

Touch Gaming was also penalised for its lack of policies, procedures and controls on these issues and for not ‘sufficiently considering’ the UKGC’s own assessment or guidance. 

The Commission finalised that the firm had not ensured that policies were effectively implemented, such as not following its own procedure to request source of funds information from customers depositing and losing £10,000 or more within 12 months.