UK Gambling Commission issues a £6m fine to online operator Casumo

The UK Gambling Commission has issued a £6m (EUR 7.0m / USD 8.2m) penalty to online operator Casumo for severe shortcomings with regards to anti-money laundering (AML) policies and social responsibility as per license agreements.

Among the social responsibility failings identified in the investigation was not putting into effect policies and procedures for customer interaction where it has concerns that a customer’s activity may indicate problem gambling.

This, says the regulator, resulted in one customer losing £1.1m over three years, a second losing £65,000 in one month, with a third losing £76,000 over seven months, all without being subject to a responsible gambling interaction.

It was added that the group had not taken into account the Commission’s guidance on customer interaction, which resulted in the operator not carrying out a responsible gambling interaction on a customer who lost £89,000 in a five hour period. 

Casumo was further identified as not carrying out a responsible gambling interaction on a customer who lost £59,000 in a 90 minute timeframe.

Clause 3.4.1 of the Social Responsibility Code states: “Licensees must interact with customers in a way that minimizes the risk of customers being harmed by gambling.” This includes identifying those who are at risk.

Furthermore, a series of AML failings were also highlighted, with these including customers being allowed to deposit significant sums of money without sufficient AML checks being conducted. Insufficient source of funds checks were done and bank statements produced  by players were not being assessed appropriately and incorrectly approved.

These failings violated license condition 12.1.1, according to which the operators must have sufficient AML checks.

In addition to the £6m fine, an official warning was issued and Casumo is required to have an external audit done to assure they are complying with the licensing terms and codes of conduct (LCCP).

Casumo commented on the penalty and warning by pointing out that the shortcomings were identified during an audit conducted between October 2019 and January 8, 2020 when it was in the “launch phase”. 

They also made it clear that after Shelly Suter-Hadad was appointed Chief Executive Officer last year, the company put all its efforts on compliance.

“Since joining Casumo last year, I have focused on establishing a new leadership team and HR license holders with extremely strong industry experience and the knowledge and experience to ensure we are a compliance-led company” said Suter-hadad.

“Realizing that important processes were neglected in the past, I immediately took action to implement fundamental operational changes so that Casumo is now a gaming group with compliance and responsible gambling at the heart of their business and culture. “

Commenting on the case, Richard Watson, executive director of the Gambling Commission, said, “This case was caused by planned compliance activities and every operator out there should be aware that we will continue to take decisive action against those who fail to raise standards.”

 

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