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Betfred Gibraltar to pay £322,000 after UKGC AML investigation

Betfred’s Gibraltar trading subsidiary ‘Petfre’ has been forced to pay £322,000 as part of a ‘regulatory settlement’ having been found to have ‘shortcomings in the application of its AML controls and its policies and procedures.’ 

The Gibraltar unit is due to make the payment in lieu of a financial penalty following an investigation by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

The UKGC investigation found that the ‘operator failed to carry out adequate source of funds checks on a customer who deposited £210,000, and lost £140,000, of stolen money in a 12-day period in November 2017.’ 

It was found that the customer was able to both deposit and lose significant amounts in a short period of time, which the UKGC highlighted ‘clearly indicated failings in the effectiveness of Petfre’s anti-money laundering policies and procedures.’ 

Under the terms of the regulatory settlement package, Petfre is due to pay its gross gambling yield of £140,000, received as a result of the player in question, which will be returned to the person whose money was stolen.

Petfre will also make a payment in lieu of a financial penalty of £182,000, which the UKGC has confirmed will be directed towards the delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

In addition to publishing a statement of facts following the investigation, the operator will also make a payment of £15,168.42 which will go towards the Commission’s investigative costs.

Petfre has since accepted responsibility for the weaknesses in its AML proceedings, and has since taken steps to prevent further recurrences. The UKGC, in response to the investigation, outlined a number of considerations in order to determine an appropriate outcome.

During the investigation, the regulator emphasised that ‘the breach arose not from the absence of AML policies but of a particular shortcoming in control measures for which remedial action has been undertaken’, with the incident in question noted to be an isolated event.

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