Two UK Gaming Companies Hit with Fines Over Regulatory Failings

Posted on: January 20, 2022, 11:14h. 

Last updated on: January 20, 2022, 03:04h.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has added two more gaming operators to its naughty list. Rank Digital Gaming (Alderney) Limited and Annexio (Jersey) will pay settlements for not following the rules.

UKGC sign
The UK Gambling Commission has targeted two gaming operators over regulatory violations. They will both pay significant settlements to avoid additional damage. (Image: UKGC)

The UKGC continues to hold gaming companies accountable when they don’t adhere to regulations. Typically, though, it doesn’t uncover issues until years after the incidents have taken place. It’s not uncommon for the regulator to levy fines against a company three or four years after the fact.

Eventually, though, the watchdog catches up. It will now add £1.3 million (US$1.77 million) to its war chest. It will also collect additional money to cover the costs of the investigations.

Rank Digital Guilty of Three Violations

The UKGC found Rank Digital guilty of violating three different entries of the UK’s Social Responsibility Code Provisions (SRCP) and Licence Conditions and Codes Of Practice (LCCP). The regulator accused it of three “social responsibility failures” tied to customer interaction, self-exclusion, and customer identification.

The violations occurred at different periods between October 2019 and February of last year. The UKGC didn’t provide specific details on each of the three. However, it indicated that, in one case, Rank Digital had not guaranteed that a self-excluded gambler could not access its platform.

Another breach was tied to the company’s failure to “interact with customers in a way which minimizes the risk of customers experiencing harms associated with gambling, and to take into account the Commission’s guidance on customer interaction.” The third targeted Rank Digital’s failure in monitoring transactions across all accounts for users who hold more than one account.

As a result, the UKGC and Rank Digital came to an agreement. The company will pay £700,557 ($700,557) to settle the charges, but it won’t be considered a fine. The amount it will pay to cover the UKGC’s investigation wasn’t revealed.

Annexio (Jersey) Also Has More Failures

Annexio reportedly fell short of adherence to UKGC guidelines between October 2019 and November 2021. It settled with the gambling watchdog after being accused of violating five different regulations. Its missteps centered on anti-money-laundering (AML) statutes.

The company reportedly didn’t uphold its responsibilities in relation to all three entries of the LCCP AML policies. Like Rank Digital, it also failed to follow the rules tied to customer interaction. In addition, it was negligent in submitting reports as required by the regulator. That, although not detailed, occurred in August 2020.

Annexio settled with the UKGC to avoid receiving a financial penalty. It agreed to pay £612,000 ($833,544) for its failures, as well as the investigation costs.

Things could have been worse. Last month, the UKGC solidified the revocation of the gaming license of International Multi-Media Entertainments Limited. That was after the company surrendered its license in September for not following AML rules.