Amendă A fine

A fine of £11.6m for Betway given by the UK Gambling Comission for a series of social responsibility and money laundering failings.

Online gambling business Betway received a fine of £11.6m from the UK Gambling Commission for a series of social responsibility and money laundering failings linked to dealings with seven of its high-spending customers.

In one instance, the operator failed to carry out source-of-funds checks on a VIP customer who deposited over £8m and lost over £4m during a four-year period. In another, Betway failed to carry out effective social responsibility interactions with a customer who deposited and lost £187,000 in two days.

The investigation found that as a result of a lack of consideration of individual customers’ affordability and source-of-funds checks the operator allowed £5.8m of money to flow through the business which has been found, or could reasonably be suspected to be, proceeds of crime. The majority of this money will now be divested and returned to victims. 

The regulator probe also revealed inadequate management oversight and investigations into responsible Personal Management Licence holders are ongoing.
Richard Watson, executive director at the Gambling Commission, said: “The actions of Betway suggest there was little regard for the welfare of its VIP customers or the impact on those around them.”

Watson said today’s case illustrated why operators’ management of high value customers must change and why the industry must do everything to interact with customers responsibly.

He said: “As part of our ongoing programme of work to make gambling safer we are pushing the industry to make rapid progress on the areas that we consider will have the most significant impact to protect consumers. The treatment and handling of high-value customers is a significant piece of that work and operators are in no doubt about the need to tackle the issue at speed.

“We have set tight deadlines for when we expect to see progress and if we do not see the right results then we will have no choice but to take further action. This case highlights again why progress needs to be made.”