Gambling Commission fines Betfred £3.25m for operational failures in UK
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Betfred will pay £3.25m to socially responsible causes after a Gambling Commission investigation found flaws in anti-money laundering (AML) and safer gaming measures in place at the bookmaker.

The investigation covered a period between January 2021 and December 2022, during which Betfred failed to comply with its licensing obligations.

The report says that the company erred in “proper risk assessment and implementation of appropriate policies and procedures aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing”.

In addition to not “interacting with customers in a way that minimizes the risk of suffering damages associated with the game”.

The prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing is included in the UK Gambling Commission’s license conditions and codes of practice.

Gambling Commission calculation

Examples given by the Gambling Commission showed a customer losing around £61,000 over a four month period with no action taken by the bookmaker.

As I had previously concluded that “there were no concerns with AML”; and failure to obtain customer and source of funds documentation, including from customers who lost £72,000 over a nine month period and £120,353 over an 11 month period, due to the bookmaker’s “reliance on open source information not corroborated”.

The Gambling Commission also cited examples of failed customer interaction in relation to safer gambling, which included a customer who placed 1,375 bets in five months at a loss of £19,336.28.

Although the customer interacted 12 times during the five months, the team said the conversations were “positive” and the customer was “satisfied with this level of spending” despite displaying worrying signs such as the card being declined and making large bets.

“Interactions have not increased in any way and there is no evidence to suggest that this customer received any information or support,” the Gambling Commission said.

“The only factor that seems to have been considered was whether the customer seemed happy to continue playing.”

Gambling Commission fines Betfred £3.25m for operational failures in UK

No safer gaming interaction occurred with another customer, a professional poker player, who wagered £517,499 between March and May 2022. Betfred concluded that the punter had “no signs for team interaction” and won £8,585.

Betfred collaborated and promoted positive changes, according to the commission

In addition to making the £3.25m settlement, Betfred has paid the Gambling Commission’s costs and agreed to the publication of an official notice.

The Gambling Commission highlighted that Betfred took significant steps to “remedy its failings”, was cooperative in its dealings and engaged in “early and voluntary acceptances” of the findings against it.

Kay Roberts, Executive Director of Operations for the Gambling Commission, said: “In recent years there has been a public focus on online gambling, but this case illustrates how important it is for us to continue our drive to raise standards across the industry.”

“Gambling is a legitimate leisure activity safely enjoyed by millions, but it is vital that every operator – whether online or offline – has effective mechanisms in place to prevent harm or crime.”

Gambling Commission also fined Star Sports

Last week, bookmaker Star Sports was fined £594,000 by the Gambling Commission for money laundering and social responsibility failures between March 2020 and May 2021.

The brand’s operating company, Star Racing Limited, has also received an official notice and conditions added to its license.