Two online operators 32Red Limited and Platinum Gaming Limited, both part of Kindred Group plc, will pay a £7.1 million penalty for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
32Red Limited, which runs 32red.com, will pay £4,195,655 whilst Platinum Gaming Limited, which runs unibet.co.uk, will pay £2,937,599.
Both have also received an official warning following a Commission investigation.
Social responsibility failures included:
- 32Red customer gambling session times should have prompted earlier identification of customers who may have been experiencing gambling related harm.
- 32Red controls were not effective as they failed to identify and protect potential problem gamblers. For example, one customer was allowed to deposit £43,000 and lose £36,000 within seven days.
- Customer interactions at 32Red were being carried out and logged, however it was found that they were superficial and lacked depth and probing, with the operator settling for customer assurances that they were comfortable with their level of gambling and that they could afford it.
- Platinum Gaming failed to have effective policies and procedures designed to identify separate accounts held by the same individual. For example, self-excluded or blocked customers were able to register on Platinum Gaming after being blocked or self-excluded on the 32Red platform.
- Platinum Gaming failed to identify and interact with customers who may have been experiencing harms associated with gambling.
Anti-money laundering failures included:
- 32Red failed to thoroughly implement the measures described by the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer Regulations 2017).
- The customer account reviews identified that financial triggers for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) reviews at 32Red were too high and not appropriate to effectively manage money laundering and terrorist financing risks. Inappropriate controls allowed significant levels of gambling to take place within a short space of time without the operator knowing anything about customers’ financial situations.
- 32Red customers subject to a Source of Funds (SOF) / Source of Wealth (SOW) request were, in most cases, not restricted from depositing and gambling during the two-week period allowed by the operator to respond to the request. This resulted in further significant depositing and loss activity occurring.
- In relation to 32 Red, there was an over reliance on confidence that funds coming through Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated firms mitigated/removed proceeds of crime risk.
- One 32Red account was not deposit blocked, in line with its own policy and procedures, after an information request deadline had expired. This allowed the customer to continue depositing, gambling £16,280 in total and losing £8,321 for a further two weeks until their account was blocked.
- Platinum Gaming’s policies, procedures and controls in relation to AML were not appropriate.
- Platinum Gaming failed to ensure that it’s policies, procedures and controls were kept under review and revised appropriately to ensure that they remained effective.
Kay Roberts, executive director of the Gambling Commission said:
“These failures highlight clearly that both operators failed to interact with customers in a way which minimises the risk of them experiencing harms associated with gambling. Our investigations also showed that policies and procedures were overlooked, both around customer accounts and anti-money laundering practices.
“Ultimately, it is an example which all gambling operators should take notice of to ensure they protect their customers at all times.”
Read the 32Red Limited and Platinum Gaming Limited full penalties.