Online casino operator Daub Alderney’s appeal against a UK Gambling Commission financial penalty imposed last year has been rejected.
The Rank Group brand, which operates the kittybingo.com, luckypantsbingo.com, luckyvip.com, magicalvegas.com, regalwins.com and spinandwin.com sites, was charged £5.85m in September 2021 for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
Daub Alderney appealed the penalty to the First-Tier Tribunal, arguing that it was ‘excessive, unfair and disproportionate’, but the case has now been closed by Judge Jacqueline Ruth Findlay.
“I find that there were serious breaches which were similar to the breaches for which a substantial financial penalty was imposed in 2018 and there are no new facts which persuade me that the decision was wrong,” the Judge explained.
“I find that the (Commission Regulatory) Panel did not err in law and complied with its statutory obligations.”
The 2018 charge Judge Findlay referred to was a £7.1m penalty relating to requirements on money laundering prevention and protection of vulnerable customers.
Part of what the UKGC described as ‘part of an ongoing investigation into the online casino sector’, the 2018 enforcement action also saw extra conditions placed on Daub Alderney’s licence.
The 2021 charge was for infractions which occurred before Rank Group acquired Stride Gaming, which operates Daub Alderney as its licenced division, something which was acknowledged by the UKGC.
However, the regulator stated at the time that the transfer of controlling shares from one parent company to another did not mitigate Daub Alderney’s shortcomings as a UK licence holder.
Commenting on the tribunal’s verdict, Sarah Gardner, Commission Deputy CEO, said: “We welcome the First-Tier Tribunal’s decision to dismiss this appeal.
“We do not take the decision to fine gambling companies lightly but we will always take firm, decisive action against operators who fail to follow rules aimed at making gambling safe and free from crime.”