Tuesday October 8, 2013 : U.K. GAMBLING COMMISSION WARNS CORAL OVER MONEY LAUNDERING ISSUE
Betting shop punter passed cash linked to drug dealing
The UK Gambling Commission has rebuked Brit online gambling group Coral over a money laundering issue at its retail betting shops, claiming that almost a million pounds sterling linked to drug dealing was involved.
The Commission claimed that a betting shop customer used questionable funds, and that Coral would have to pay back the GBP 90,000 it made from a single customer who visited shops in north-east England.
The man in his 30s, who cannot be named while he is waiting to be sentenced, was charged by police in Durham as part of a campaign against organised crime, The Guardian newspaper reported Monday.
He spent over a million pounds sterling with a number of operators in different sectors, including GBP 100,000 in an Aspers casino, according to the Commission.
Despite Coral submitting a suspicious activity report about the bets to the regulator, "…little or no challenge was made by the operator, although there were extensive and realistic opportunities to do so", the regulator alleges, adding that Coral even gave the launderer a complimentary day at the races as a valuable client!
In summary, the Commission found that Coral's anti-laundering systems "…were not sufficiently effective to deliver their obligations fully".
The Guardian report reveals that this case of money laundering is one of largest recorded in the industry and gives anti-gambling campaigners an opportunity to criticise.
Bookmaking companies are currently lobbying against an EU directive which would force betting shops to perform checks on punters who gamble more than GBP 1,700. At present, the threshold is GBP 10,000.