Greentube Alderney Hit With Massive Fines Over Money Laundering Failings

Posted on: December 2, 2021, 06:58h. 

Last updated on: December 2, 2021, 10:19h.

Novomatic-owned Greentube Alderney has become the latest target of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The online gaming operator has been slapped with fines tied to two of its platforms, and

Greentube’s HQ in Vienna, Austria, seen above. The company’s Greentube Alderney subsidiary in the UK will pay for violating several UKGC regulations (Image: Greentube)

According to the UKGC, Greentube failed to uphold their responsibilities linked to proper social oversight and anti-money-laundering (AML) protocols.

Specifically, the regulator said that the two sites had violated sections 12.1.1, 12.1.2, 15.2.1 of the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) and provision 3.4.1 of the UK Social Responsibility Code (SRC).

The penalty for the violations totals £685,000 (US$912,304). The fines stem from incidents that took place between Dec. 2019 and Nov. 2020.

Greentube Alderney Lax on AML Procedures

The UKGC asserts that Greentube Alderney did a poor job keeping track of money movements. It also failed to ensure it was able to properly track money laundering risks outside normal operating hours.

The operator reportedly employed a somewhat haphazard approach to verifying funding sources. It relied too heavily on open-source data platforms to complete its checks, according to the UKGC.

There were also “unacceptable” delays in the amount of time the company needed to confirm that paying customers owned the method of deposit they used. The UKGC didn’t detail how long of a delay there was, and Greentube hasn’t explained how long the process takes.

Compliance with Commission rules aimed at keeping people safe and gambling crime-free is not optional,” UKGC Executive Director Helen Venn said.

An individual known as a “politically exposed person” was able to wager the maximum £1,000 (US$1,330) before Greentube conducted a source of wealth check. The company also failed to draft a necessary AML assessment policy that describes how to identify money-laundering risk factors. This policy is required, per UKGC guidelines.

Greentube had taken the proper steps in submitting suspicious activity reports (SAR) with the National Crime Agency, as required. However, it missed a step and didn’t provide the information to the UKGC within five days of submitting the SAR to the agency.

The SRC violation stemmed from the company’s passive approach to identifying potential problem gamblers. Instead of proactively monitoring individuals, it reportedly relied on a blanket 30-day net loss cap of £1,000 across the board.

The UKGC pointed out that Greentube should have been more proactive. It was expected to have taken into consideration other factors, including when and for how long players were gambling. Instead, the operator was forcing the individual to be the responsible party and know when to say when.

Greentube Marked with Badge of Shame

In addition to the fines, Greentube has also been flagged over its indiscretions. It must now organize a third-party audit of its operations to ensure that it complies with the LCCP. The audit must be completed within 12 months.

We will always take firm action against those operators who fail to meet the high standards we expect for consumers in Britain,” added Venn.

It could have been much worse. The UKGC has issued several massive fines for AML failures, including an $8.28-million fine to Casumo this past March for similar violations. That fine, however, paled in comparison to the $18.2-million fine Caesars received last year for several infractions.

Greentube has acknowledged that it had slipped and will also pay the UKGC’s legal fees of £8,789.86 (US$11.700).