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British regulator fines Smarkets for AML and social responsibility failings

12th August 2022 8:34 am GMT
Gambling Commission
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Malta-headquartered betting exchange operator Smarkets has become the latest operator to be fined by Britain’s Gambling Commission for anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings.

The operator will pay a financial penalty of £630,000 after an investigation by the Gambling Commission revealed a series of failings. They included customers being allowed to gamble without adequate source of funds checks by the company, and failing to identify and interact with customers at risk of experiencing harm.

The company, which operates the smarkets.com and getsbk.com sites, has also received a formal warning and will undergo an audit to ensure it is effectively implementing its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls.

“This case was identified through compliance checks and once again highlights how we will take action against gambling operators who fail their customers,” said Gambling Commission deputy CEO Sarah Gardner. “Our investigation into Smarkets unearthed a variety of failures where customers were put at risk of gambling harm.

“It was obvious that poor systems and processes were in place which contributed to these breaches, driven by the company's failure to effectively implement its policies and controls.”

According to the British gambling regulator, examples of the failings by Smarkets included one customer being allowed to deposit £395,000 in a four-month period, without the appropriate source of funds checks being carried out.

Another example involved an individual transferring significant levels of funds between bank accounts without scrutiny or source of funds checks.

The Commission noted that Smarkets co-operated throughout the investigation and took corrective steps to address the identified failings.

The Commission’s review of the specific customers identified during the compliance assessment found no evidence of criminal spend with the operator.

The £630,000 Smarkets fine is the latest in a string of enforcement cases led by the Commission this year, with LeoVegas fined £1.32m for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings earlier this month.

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