Gambling commission

UKGC fines EU Lotto £760k for social responsibility and AML failures

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The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), responsible for regulating gambling and supervising gaming law in Great Britain has announced that they are taking regulatory action against EU Lotto. The company is set to pay a £760,000 fine ($1 million) for social responsibility and anti-money laundering violations

EU Lotto has also received a formal warning for failures that occurred between October 2019 and November 2020, stated the UKGC in a press release. These included neglecting to take into account the Commission’s formal customer interaction guidance.

Examples included:

  • Customers frequently changing deposit limits not being considered as markers of harm
  • No evidence of suitable financial and affordability assessments being conducted to identify whether a customer was being harmed or at risk of harm
  • customer interactions predominately consisted of an email detailing the responsible gambling tools available and did not require a customer response – there was little evidence of interactions being adapted depending on the extent of potential harm.

Anti-money laundering failures included:

  • Not effectively reviewing or analysing bank statements provided by customers to prove address
  • Not restricting customer accounts following source of funds (SoF) requests
  • Allowing customers to register third-party debit cards (such as those in a different name to the customer) to their account
  • Relying too heavily on ineffective threshold triggers and generally lacking information regarding how much a customer should be allowed to spend based on income, wealth or any other risk factors.

In line with the Commission’s Licensing, compliance and enforcement policy statement, the Indicative sanctions guidance, and the Statement of principles for determining financial penalties, the Commission has decided to impose a warning under section 117 (a) of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act), attach additional conditions to the Licensee’s operating licence under section 117(1)(b) of the Act and impose a financial penalty of £760,000.00.

Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director, commented: “This case, like other recent enforcement action, was the result of planned compliance activity. All operators should be very aware that we will not hesitate to take firm action against those who fail to meet the high standards we expect for consumers in Britain”

Nigel Birrell, CEO of Lottoland, argued saying: “Lottoland is fully committed to ensuring the highest standards of compliance, including its anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations in all of the jurisdictions in which it operates”

UKGC Regulatory Penalties

EU Lotto is not the only operator to be fined by the UKGC for social responsibility and AML failures these last weeks. Recently, Rank’s Daub Alderney also was fined £5.85m after a Gambling Commission investigation revealed social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

Following Rank Group subsidiary Daub Alderney’s sanction, EU Lotto is the second large business to face a UKGC fine for social responsibility and AML failures in recent months.