GGPoker Fined for Violating UK Anti-Money Laundering and Social Responsibility Rules
Posted on: October 12, 2022, 12:53h.
Last updated on: October 12, 2022, 01:21h.
GGPoker is in trouble with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The online poker platform, where Daniel Negreanu is a high-profile ambassador, allegedly violated the regulator’s anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility rules, resulting in a six-figure fine.
The UKGC announced the fine on Wednesday, explaining that GGPoker’s parent company, NSUS, wasn’t holding up its end of the licensing agreement. The anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility categories are the two the regulator most often cites, although the amount it seeks in fines varies greatly.
Last month, Betfred received a $7-million fine for not following the rules. GGPoker is getting off light in comparison, and will only have to pay about $738,763 (£672,829).
GGPoker Loses its Chips
The UKGC didn’t explain how it reached the sum or what specifically GGPoker did that was out of line. It stated that the company violated several AML measures, including inadequate risk assessments of internal practices to prevent money laundering.
The company also apparently didn’t meet expectations when it came to enforcing proper procedures for financial transactions, which is also an AML violation. There’s no information from the regulator that money laundering took place through Malta-licensed GGPoker or its parent company.
In addition to the AML troubles, there were a number of social responsibility issues. The UKGC claims that GGPoker didn’t do enough to identify customers who might be at risk for gambling harm. It also failed to engage customers that might have already been experiencing problems.
There were other slip-ups as part of the social responsibility charges. Primarily, NSUS and its marketing team were negligent in ensuring that marketing material didn’t go to self-excluded consumers. The UKGC reportedly found 125 instances of emails sent to customers who were on a self-exclusion list.
Apart from the financial penalty, NSUS also received an “official warning.” This essentially means that GGPoker’s UK site, ggpoker.co.uk, will remain under watch.
UKGC Holds Onto Firepower
The UKGC has consistently handed down penalties to operators for violating a number of rules this year, and the figure is already into the eight-digit range. This is on top of the voluntary contributions operators give in order to support the regulator’s causes.
As it continues to oversee the changing UK gambling ecosystem, the UKGC has promised to crack down even harder on repeat offenders. It’s going to be able to maintain continuity in that effort. Two standing commissioners, John Baillie and Catherine Seddon, recently received word that they will stay in place for two more years.
While it leads the gaming ecosystem in accordance with its own rules and established laws, there’s still a major piece of the puzzle missing. The UK has been in the process of updating its laws for the past couple of years, but never makes it to the finish line.
An updated gambling white paper was to be ready last year before it faced several delays. The latest update indicated that the plan might never materialize, but that now appears not to be the case. Instead, political insiders and the Betting and Gaming Council believe it will arrive before Christmas.
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