The gambling watchdog in the UK, the Gambling Commission, announced today a financial penalty against LeoVegas.
UK Gambling Commission Imposes a Financial Penalty
The Gambling Commission uncovered social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. This resulted in a £1.32 million ($1.61 million) financial penalty against LeoVegas, the operator that is running leovegas.com, slotboss.co.uk, pinkcasino.co.uk, betuk.com and 21.co.uk. In addition to the hefty financial penalty, LeoVegas will receive an official warning.
What’s more, the Commission said that LeoVegas will go through auditing. The probe will seek to ensure that the operator complies with social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules and it implements sufficient procedures and controls. The audit will be completed by a third-party company and is expected to span 12 months.
The Watchdog Says Breaches Date Back to 2019-20
According to the GC, the breaches and failures date back between October 2019 and October 2020. The gambling watchdog uncovered failures related to anti-money laundering, as well as social responsibility. Upon investigating, the Commission found that spend triggers were set significantly higher than the average customer’s spend without the operator offering a relevant explanation.
Additionally, the Gambling Commission found that customers were asked to make a 45-minute break after playing for six hours. LeoVegas did not explain what led to the conclusion that six hours of play is the point at which the customers had to be asked to cool off.
Separately, the Commission said that the operator did not follow its policies for contacting clients that are showing signs of problem gambling such as long sessions, denied deposits, late night or early morning sessions.
According to the GC, LeoVegas Breached AML Regulations
On the other hand, the GC uncovered failures related to anti-money laundering rules. It said that the operator’s “financial triggers for anti-money laundering reviews being too high and unrealistic to effectively manage money laundering and terrorist financing risks.” Also, the operator did not enforce appropriate controls for gambling spending. This, according to the Commission, allowed customers to spend big amounts of money without the operator knowing the origin of their funds.
“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.”
Leanne Oxley, Director of Enforcement and Intelligence at the Gambling Commission
Leanne Oxley, GC’s Director of Enforcement and Intelligence, revealed that the commission has taken action after scrutiny of the operator’s activities related to compliance. She reaffirmed that the Commission will continue to take relevant actions against any licensee that is not complying with the existing rules. Last but not least, Oxley said: “This case is a further example of operators failing to protect customers and failing to be alive to money laundering risks within their business.”