Not up to scratch

Online gambling operator LeoVegas PLC has been fined £1.32m ($1.6m) by the UK Gambling Commission as a result of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings. The UK’s chief gambling regulator announced the penalty action on Wednesday, having come to the decision on July 11. The various offenses occurred between October 2019 and October 2020.

has also received an official warning

In addition to the financial penalty, LeoVegas has also received an official warning and will need to subject itself to an audit to make sure that all of its social responsibility and anti-money laundering systems and policies are now up to scratch.

A variety of issues

The UKGC outlined some specifics of LeoVegas’ failings. Regarding the social responsibility issues, there were customer spend triggers that were significantly greater than the average customer spend and concerns about why LeoVegas decided on six hours to be an appropriate time period after which players had to take a 45-minute cool-off.

not following its own policy of customer interaction

There were also issues with LeoVegas not following its own policy of customer interaction when people were showing indicators of harm, while the operator also did not properly take into account the UKGC’s guidance in 2019 for customer interaction.

With regards to the anti-money laundering failures, LeoVegas’ financial triggers for anti-money laundering reviews were deemed to be too high and not realistic for effectively managing risks. There was also an overreliance on threshold triggers that were ineffective and there was not enough info regarding the amount a person could be able to spend based on their income. Finally, the operator’s insufficient controls meant that people could gamble significant sums in a short time period without the operator having any information about the user’s financial situation.

UKGC cracking down

Speaking about the enforcement action against LeoVegas, UKGC director of enforcement and intelligence Leanne Oxley said: “We identified this through focused compliance activity and we will continue to take action against other operators if they do not learn the lessons our enforcement work is providing.”

She went on to note how this particular case is another example of how operators often do not properly protect their customers and are not properly set up to deal with money laundering risks.

In addition to the LeoVegas brand, the operator also runs other platforms such as 21.co.uk, BetUk.com, PinkCasino.co.uk, and SlotBoss.co.uk.

The UKGC takes its role very seriously and makes sure that operators are always staying in line with the region’s rules and regulations. So far in 2022, the gambling regulator has dished out a number of major fines to operators. In March, the UKGC fined Camelot UK £3.15m ($3.8m) for targeting more than 65,000 self-excluded gamblers, while 888 UK Ltd received a whopping £9.4m ($11.5m) fine the same month for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings. Other operators to receive seven-figure fines from the UKGC so far in 2022 include Genesis Global Limited, Sky Betting and Gaming, and BetVictor.

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