Online gaming software provider and operator SkillOnNet will pay a £305,150 ($377,917) penalty over social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures uncovered by the UK Gambling Commission. SkillOnNet operates 50 websites, of which 15 are via white-label arrangements such as gentingcasino.com, playtoro.com, and slotstars.com.
According to the UKGC, between January 2021 and December 2022, the company failed to prevent gambling from being a source of or associated with crime, to ensure that the practice is conducted fairly and openly, and to protect vulnerable people from harm or exploitation.
Skill On Net Limited will pay £305,150 for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
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— Gambling Commission (@GamRegGB) May 23, 2023
The regulator summarised that SkillOnNet had insufficient policies, procedures, and controls to comply with AML and responsible gambling responsibilities, as well as ‘weaknesses in implementation’ in the case of the latter obligation. For instance, SkillOnNet customers were able to deposit and lose more than double the £2,000 limit the firm had set in place, driven by assumptions that some customers were ‘recycling’ or ‘restaking’ winnings.
The inability to recognize these vulnerable customers and indicators of potential harm was worsened by ineffective interactions. The UKGC argues that the interactions conducted by the firm were ‘not effective in capturing the necessary information’ to make a risk assessment.
In addition to failing to identify money laundering risks and implementing effective policies, the company was also found to have inadequately utilized the account information provided by the regulatory authority. The company neglected to adequately consider customer salaries and risk profiles, failed to comply with the requirement of an annual report on anti-money laundering (AML) by a designated officer, and heavily relied on verbal comments and monetary thresholds.
As stated by the regulator, the operator has taken remedial action. In line with the UKGC’s Statement of Principles for licensing and regulation, SkillOnNet agreed to a payment in lieu of a financial penalty of GBP £305,150, which will be directed towards socially responsible causes; as well as a payment of GBP 9,079 ($11,261) towards the Commission’s investigative costs.
As a part of the broader effort to ensure compliance, the licensee also agreed to undergo a third-party audit that will seek to ensure the company implements effective, safer gambling and AML policies, controls, and procedures.