MrQ to pay $853.7K over social responsibility, AML failures uncovered by the UKGC

The UK Gambling Commission announced that gaming operator Lindar Media Limited, trading as MrQ, will pay a £690,947 ($853,793) regulatory settlement for anti-money laundering and social responsibility breaches.

The regulator summarised that it began its regulatory review of MrQ after it made a compliance assessment in September 2022. MrQ had failings in the online bingo and iGaming processes for stopping money laundering and protecting people from being harmed by gambling.

According to the regulator, Lindar failed in regard to its responsible gambling policies, procedures, controls, and practices. The regulator highlighted failures extended to its reporting arrangements when key events took place.

Other deficiencies comprised Lindar’s head of regulatory compliance taking additional management posts without Commission approval. The operator did not tell the Commission when its head of regulatory compliance left this position in June 2022. As such, the regulator found the business in breach of the license condition between June 20 and September 2022. 

The operator also did not advertise its products in a socially responsible way. The Commission criticized the company for allowing its agents to use cartoon imagery to advertise the business, which could appeal to children. 

Finally, it failed to make its required research, prevention, and treatment contributions to an organization supporting those harmed by gambling. Lindar Media also failed to identify customers at risk of experiencing gambling harm. Its financial and safer gambling triggers “were not always effective”, especially when dealing with customers depositing at a high velocity. 

Responding to the regulatory settlement, Lindar Media said the breaches happened during a time of growth for the business, and that safer gambling policies have been improved since the time of the failures. 

Savvas Fellas, Lindar Media’s CEO, commented: “My focus since 2022 has been centered around maturing the day-to-day operations through the development of the senior leadership team.

We’ve implemented scalable processes that provide consistency as we grow and built technology-driven models that underpin compliance and safer gambling promises to our players; all of which are aligned with our mission of offering progressive, value entertainment – with delight and transparency.”

The Gambling Commission acknowledged Lindar Media’s transparency, cooperation, and proactive approach to rectifying the failings, noted the company in a press statement.  Lindar Media was also noted to be making significant efforts toward addressing some of the failings before the investigations were finalized.