Unibet Targeted by Denmark’s Gaming Regulator Over Violations

Posted on: December 13, 2021, 07:28h. 

Last updated on: December 13, 2021, 12:36h.

Danish gaming regulators continue to drive home their commitment to ensuring compliance with laws and policies. Shortly after calling out one online operator for not following the rules, Unibet has become the latest target.

A man draped in the Danish flag stands before a crowd. In the country, those who enjoy iGaming activity will find more scrutiny, as operators continue to be targeted by regulators. (Image: Getty Images)

Unibet, one of the Kindred Group’s many brands, was reportedly remiss in adhering to anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations in Denmark.

The iGaming and sports betting operator apparently knew that a particular customer may have been a high-risk individual. However, it didn’t take the necessary steps to verify his status.

The unnamed individual deposited around DKK 1.4 million (US$212,520) into his account from December 2016 to 2018. For some, that wouldn’t represent a problem. For this individual, it seems to be more than he could afford.

Spending Outpaced Earnings

Unibet apparently knew the bet caused an issue because, in 2015, company officials flagged his account. At that time, the person wasn’t active with Unibet.

The operator left a note in his account that he should be monitored if he were to pop back up. He did, but Unibet didn’t take any action, according to the Danish Gambling Authority.

It wasn’t until December of 2018 that Unibet finally requested that the user prove he could afford to spend big. When the “proof” was provided, it showed that he was spending more than he made.

Still, Unibet, which has been praised elsewhere for its responsible gaming initiatives, didn’t intervene. It proceeded to allow him to deposit another DKK1.8 million (US$273,250) through April 2020, before the operator closed his account.

Not Enough Due Diligence

As a result, Unibet has been accused of violating regulations on due diligence and AML protocols. In addition to not taking action sooner, it never informed the Money Laundering Secretariat (MLS) of the issues, as is required.

Since Unibet has not yet notified the Money Laundering Secretariat, the breach still exists, and consequently, Unibet has received an order to correct the situation by making a report,” states the Danish Gambling Authority.

Unibet now has to fulfill its due diligence and AML obligations and submit the proper reports to the MLS. It has two weeks to turn in the information if it wants to avoid additional headaches.

Unibet Not the First or the Last

Most countries are cracking down harder on gaming entities that don’t follow the rules. Denmark is no exception.

Regulators recently called out LeoVegas for not paying attention to due diligence and AML rules. However, unlike other countries, Denmark isn’t as trigger-happy when it comes to levying major fines. Often, operators are issued a warning or allowed to take corrective measures on a first offense.

Denmark’s iGaming market has been in a bit of a slump lately. It did well this past September before October saw a 25.6% drop in gross gaming revenue. iGaming and sports betting only produced DKK525 million (US$78.8 million), 40 million less than the previous month. It was also 181 million (US$27.46 million) less than a year earlier.