SBC News UKGC fines bet365 £582k for customer deficiencies

UKGC fines bet365 £582k for customer deficiencies

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and bet365 have settled on a fine of £582,120 related to anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures of its bingo and casino business. 

These failings were discovered during a Commission compliance assessment in March last year.

In total, Hillside (UK Gaming) ENC, which holds a licence for bet365’s bingo and casino products, must pay £343,035, whilst the remaining will be paid by Hillside (UK Sports) ENC – which holds a licence to offer betting.

Kay Roberts, Executive Director of Operations at the UKGC, described the policy and procedural failings as ‘not as severe’ as those at other gambling businesses in recent years, but emphasised that they were failings nonetheless.

He said: “We expect high standards from operators in terms of keeping gambling safe, fair and crime-free, and will always take action to correct any failings. This operator is very aware that a repeat of these failings will result in escalating regulatory action.”Sarah Garnder: UKGC consultation conclusions due this summer

One of the operator’s social responsibility failures was within its interactions with customers, which were frequently not tailored to the specific customer journey or spectrum of harm and therefore interactions were deemed ‘not meaningful’.

Meanwhile, bet365’s Early Risk Detection System was found ‘not demonstrably effective’ in understanding the impact of individual interactions on a customer’s behaviour and whether further action was required.

Furthermore, the investigation was further concerned with the company’s approach to customer care evaluations, as it was unable to effectively determine whether a customer had read and understood the information or advice provided within its interactions.

Both Hillside (UK Gaming) ENC and Hillside (UK Sports) ENC wrote public responses accepting the assessment, in which it stated that bet365 will direct £582,120 towards socially responsible causes as part of the regulatory settlement.  

Additionally, bet365’s anti-money laundering failures included enhanced customer due diligence and ‘know your customer triggers’ which were found ineffective at managing money laundering risk.

The gambling company also failed to undertake financial sanctions checks on new customers prior to their first deposits, as well as independent verification checks and over relied on customers’ annual self-verification of ‘know your customer’ information, e.g. ID documents.

Finally, the UKGC highlighted that bet365’s procedure document contained inadequate detail as to who would be deemed at risk and not at risk for customer risk profiling.

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