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GAN, BGO and NetBet hit with new licence conditions

28th October 2020 8:58 am GMT
Gambling Commission
Sportradar

Britain’s Gambling Commission has imposed additional licence conditions on three online gambling operators for social responsibility and money laundering failures.

New York-listed GAN and privately owned operators BGO Entertainment and NetBet Enterprises have each had special conditions attached to their licenses and will pay settlements totalling £2.89m to advance the commission’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

The three operators were subject to licence reviews following a number of failures concerning consumer protection and failing to prevent money laundering and criminal spend.

BGO was found to be lacking effective policies and procedures to detect signs of problem gambling between September 2018 and March 2020, as well as failing to have effective and adequately resourced anti-money laundering controls in place between September 2018 and July 2020. 

BGO will therefore have additional conditions imposed on its licence, requiring it to carry out extra social responsibility and anti-money laundering checks on its top 250 customers. The company will also pay £2m to support the implementation of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and approximately £31,000 to cover the cost of the commission’s investigation.

GAN was found to have failed to comply with four licence conditions focused on social responsibility (SR) and anti-money laundering (AML), including ineffective anti-money laundering policies and procedures, not displaying warnings that underage gambling is an offence on its website and poor customer interaction guidance.

As a result, GAN will have to abide by new licence conditions requiring continued review of the effectiveness and implementation of its AML and SR policies, procedures and controls, and extra training for personal management licence holders and senior staff. The business will also pay £146,000 to progress the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, comprised of a £100,000 payment in lieu of a financial penalty and divestment of £46,754 which accrued from customer accounts as a result of the failings. It will also pay £6,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.

NetBet was found to have failed to scrutinise source of funds documentation provided by customers as well as failure to implement its responsible gambling policy effectively and must now make a number of changes to its processes. These include giving greater regard to the log-in time of its customers during responsible gambling customer assessments, automatic limits on customers demonstrating early signs of problem gambling and providing consumers with access to an affordability calculator.

NetBet will also pay £748,000 to progress the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and £8,806 for the cost of the investigation.

“Licensees must protect consumers from harm and treat them fairly,” said Gambling Commission executive director Richard Watson. “Our recent investigations uncovered a variety of consumer protection and anti-money laundering failings at each of these three operators and as a result we are using a range of enforcement tools against them.  We will continue to crack down on failing operators through our tough and proactive compliance and enforcement work.”

Details of the licence conditions and public statements by the three operators can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

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