The UK Gambling Commission is mandating online gaming operator In Touch Games (ITG) to pay a £6.1 million ($7.5 million) penalty after an investigation revealed social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. The operator – which runs 11 websites including bonusboss.co.uk, cashmo.co.uk, drslot.co.uk, jammymonkey.com, and slotfactory.com – failed a compliance assessment last March.
Social responsibility failures detected in ITG’s operations include not interacting with a customer until seven weeks after they had been flagged for interaction for erratic play patterns and extended periods of play.
Additional social failures included not sufficiently recording and evaluating customer interactions. For instance, the operator accepted a customer’s word that they earned £6,000 a month without verifying this information after the customer’s account was flagged due to customer spending and gambling during unsociable hours.
In Touch Games Limited has been fined £6.1m for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
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As for AML failures, these include not adequately taking account of the risk of a customer being a beneficiary of a life insurance policy; having links to high-risk jurisdictions; or being a politically exposed person (PEP), a family member of a PEP or known close associates of a PEP, within its money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment. The company was found as lacking policies, procedures, and controls in place to address the risk factors mentioned above.
Additional failures included not sufficiently considering the Commission’s money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment or the Commission’s guidance. And lastly, the operator was fined for not ensuring its policies, procedures, and controls were implemented effectively: for example, not following its own policy to request source of funds information from customers who had deposited and lost £10,000 in a 12-month period.
This is the third time ITG has faced regulatory action, notes the UKGC. In 2019 it paid a £2.2 million ($2.7 million) settlement for regulatory failures and in 2021 it received a £3.4 million ($4.1 million) fine and warning for further failures.
Kay Roberts, Executive Director of Operations, said: “Considering this operator’s history of failings we expected to see significant improvement when we carried out our planned compliance assessment. Disappointingly, although many improvements had been made, there was still more to do.”
“This £6.1m fine shows that we will take escalating enforcement action where failures are repeated and all licensees should be acutely aware of this,” Roberts further added.
The new penalty follows regulatory action taken by the UKGC against operator TonyBet last week for “failing to have fair and transparent terms,” and for failing to follow social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules. The company will have to pay a GBP 442,750 ($547.427) penalty and undergo a third-party audit.