BETFRED HAMMERED BY UK GAMBLING COMMISSION
UK gambling firm to pay over GBP 800,000 following licence review.
The online and land gambling group Betfred is to pay over GBP 800,000 in compensation and in contribution towards socially responsible causes as part of a regulatory settlement following a licence review, according to a press statement today from the UK Gambling Commission.
The payment follows failures by the operator in its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, the statement advises.
The Gambling Commission’s investigation follows a court case that resulted in a Betfred customer being jailed for three years and four months after admitting to stealing from his employer. A significant proportion of the stolen money was spent with Betfred.
Under the terms of the settlement, GBP 443,000 will be paid to the victims of the criminal activities. A further GBP 344,500 will be paid, in lieu of a financial penalty, to socially responsible causes, agreed with the Commission.
Betfred will also meet the Commission’s investigation costs.
In addition, under the settlement, Betfred must conduct an independent third party review and audit of its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies and procedures. This will include customer due diligence, enhanced due diligence and on-going monitoring practices.
Richard Watson, programme director at the Commission, said: “We identified a number of weaknesses in the anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls used by Betfred. The penalty package of over GBP 800,000 reflects these failures.
“The Commission has now concluded a wide range of cases over the last 10 months leading to around GBP 3.75million in penalty packages. The outcomes and findings in these cases provide a clear signal to operators of the need to learn the lessons from these for social responsibility and money laundering controls, or risk facing tougher sanctions.”
The UKGC statement advises all operators to read Betfred.com: voluntary settlement following a licence review – public statement for further details.
The Commission has begun a review of its enforcement policies and practices which includes plans to engage operators and stakeholders in the autumn.