The UK Gambling Commission’s investigation into the online casino sector has resulted in four gambling businesses paying a total of £4.5m in penalty packages.
InTouch Games will pay £2.2m, Betit Operations £1.4m and MT Secure Trade £700,000 in lieu of financial penalties, while BestBet will pay a financial penalty of £230,972.
The penalties relate to the businesses failings to put in place effective safeguards to prevent money laundering and keep consumers safe from gambling harm.
The penalty packages form part of an ongoing investigation into the online casino sector. Over the last 18 months, the regulator has conducted assessments of, or engaged with, 123 online operators – and of the 45 told to submit an action plan to raise standards, 38 have already showed signs of improvement. A further 34 were compliant with standards expected by the Commission or had minor issues which have been, or are in the process of being, remedied.
Since the investigation began, five operators have surrendered their licence and can no longer transact with consumers in Britain. In November 2018, three companies paid nearly £14m in penalty packages as result of their failings to put in place effective safeguards to prevent money laundering and keep consumers safe from gambling-related harm.
Richard Watson, Gambling Commission executive director, said: “We have been working hard to raise standards in the online industry to ensure that gambling is crime-free and that the one in five people in Britain who gamble online every month can do so safely.
“But our work will not stop here. As a regulator, we will continue to set and enforce standards that the industry must comply with to protect consumers.
“We expect operators to know their customers and to ask the right questions to make sure they meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.”