The United Kingdom Gambling Commission unveiled in mid 2017 that UK Casino sites breaking any of their current regulations would face higher penalties, while plans also included lowering the chances of operators successfully renewing their licenses if found in breach.
The UKGC warned that fines would increase for repeated or systematic penalties. The UK Gambling Commission informed online operators at the time that it would use its full range of enforcement powers at its dispense to ensure a raise in standards and that players come first. The Chief Executive, Sarah Harrison, of the UKGC assured the public the licensing body would take effective and robust action, against any gambling operators failing to meet their mandatory obligations. The enforcement policy remains in place, initially created to impose stricter sanctions against online casino operators failing to meet the newly elevated standards or increased obligations towards their customers. At the time, Brian Chappel, founder of Justice4Punters, felt that the announcements from the UKGC enjoyed a good reception and that it also confirmed the Gambling Commission’s commitment to improve services offered to gamblers.
Gambling Commission Licensed Online Casino Sites
United Kingdom Gambling Commission Hands Leo Vegas Casino €600,000 Fine
On the 2nd of May 2018 the UKGC handed a hefty €600,000 fine to Leo Vegas Casino for repeated failings related to its handling of player members and advertising. The fine follows a UKGC investigation that showed 41 instances of misleading advertising authorized by the operator. Leo Vegas Casino did also not return the funds of 11,205 players that had previously excluded themselves from the website. The investigation found that 1,894 self-excluded players continued to receive marketing material, while 413 players, previously self-excluded, could continue gambling without having a conversation with the casino personnel or obeying the 24-hour cool-off period.
The UKGC wants non-compliant operators to learn from any negative results found during their investigations, by forcing Leo Vegas Casino to pay its €600,000 fine and returning the funds to self-excluded players, while simultaneously also holding the casino responsible for all the investigative costs.
Neil McArthur, UKGC CEO commented that the outcome of the Leo Vegas Casino fine leaves no one in doubt that the UKGC will be strict on all license holders who fails to meet the standards set in the licensing conditions and codes of practice or mislead consumers.
William Hill Receive £6.2 Million Fine Imposed by UKGC for Player Protection Failures and Money Laundering
Leo Vegas Casino is not the first operator to receive a fine from the UKGC in 2018, in February a £6.2 million penalty was handed to Williams Hill Casino after a revelation that the British bookmaker failed to prevent money laundering or providing players with quality protection.
After the UKGC conducted a thorough investigation, it found, that the William Hill Group was in violation of several regulations from November 2014 to August 2016, which included the anti-money laundering and failing obligatory social responsibility requirements.
Williams Hill failed to reduce customer risk and at the same time an insufficient number of employees resulted in failure of its social responsibilities. As a direct result, members received permission to deposit large sums of money into their casino accounts, in some instances monies associated with criminal offences. The latter enabled the Williams Hill Group to gain an estimate of £1.2 million.
United Kingdom Gambling Commission Warned in January Already That It Started Investigations into Seventeen Online Casinos
2018, was less than a week old when the UK Gambling Commission posted a notice that it had already started investigations into no less than 17 online casino operators. The governing body conducted investigations without revealing the identities of the 17 operators in question, although they indicated that the investigations were of a serious nature. It focused towards a lack of monitoring into player accounts, while several fell short in assuming responsibility for Suspicious Activity Reports.
The recent proposed changes by the UKGC includes banning free-to-play gambling games in an effort to protect children, improving the speed involved in age identification and effectiveness of the verification process as well as strengthening the requirements of interacting with players who may potentially face gambling problems.
Due to the high-standards and strict rules employed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission
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