UK Gambling Commission Issues Online Casino Operator £6M Fine
Posted on: March 26, 2021, 01:09h.
Last updated on: March 26, 2021, 03:43h.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has fined online casino and sportsbook operator Casumo £6 million (US$8.28 million) for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
Casumo is a Malta-based online gambling firm that offers internet slots, live table games, and sports betting. The company is licensed to operate remote gaming by the UKGC and Malta Gaming Authority.
The Gambling Commission says Casumo failed on at least five occasions to intervene with customers who were losing large sums of money. UKGC regulations require iGaming operators to investigate a client’s bankroll when their activity may indicate problem gambling.
The UKGC says one customer lost more than $1.5 million over a three-year span without being subject to a responsible gambling check. Another lost nearly $90,000 in a single month without being contacted by Casumo responsible gaming agents, and a third person lost approximately $105,000 without being reviewed.
The UKGC also cited seven examples of Casumo failing to adequately protect its online platform from being used to launder money.
“This case was brought about through planned compliance activity, and every operator out there should be aware that we will continue to take firm action against those who fail to raise standards,” declared UKGC Executive Director Richard Watson.
Casumo received its iGaming license from the UK in November of 2014. It received its sports betting permit in July of 2019.
This is the second time the UKGC has handed down a large fine against Casumo. In 2018, the iGaming operator was penalized $8 million for similar regulatory shortcomings of breaching anti-money laundering measures and failing to check in on high-stakes gamblers.
Casumo says it has greatly improved its anti-money laundering and social responsibility protocols since 2018. But the 2020 COVID-19 year resulted in an influx of new customers, and some slipped through the cracks.
Casumo CEO Shelly Suter-Hadad, who was appointed to the role in January 2020, maintains the firm is dedicated to protecting customers and preventing money laundering.
The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports is amid a far-reaching review of the 2005 Gambling Act. Gambling critics say more stringent oversight is needed, as they claim the industry is harming society.
In the meantime, the UKGC continues to levy large fines on gaming operators found out of compliance of current mandates. Last year, the Commission delivered Caesars Entertainment a record £13 million fine for allowing known problem gamblers to lose at its UK casinos.
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