5 Things Gambling Operators Can Learn From Gamesys’s £6M Fine

Learnings from Gamesys' £6M Fine for Gambling Operators

Gamesys Operations Limited was recently fined to pay a £6 million penalty for breaching Anti Money Laundering (AML) and social responsibility guidelines. While we covered this in the following news article, this one talks about the things that UK operators can learn from Gamesys’ failings.

Introduction

The iGaming sector has been facing increased regulation in the UK, from the banning of credit cards for deposits to making Gamstop a compulsory partner for all British gambling sites. 

Some of these rules are easy to enforce (credit cards). However, Gamstop has been facing a few hiccups along the way. For example, players registered with the program can use non gamstop casino sites located overseas to play their favorite games. 

That said, the Gambling Commission has vowed to enforce all its policies. Gamesys' fine is just one example of how the UKGC isn't afraid to punish operators that fail to adhere to its mandates.

In light of that information, below are five things iGaming operators need to keep in mind while operating in the UK:

1. Problem Gambling is a Major Concern in 2024

Mitigating problem gambling has been an area of major concern in the UK for the past two years. Last year, the Rishi Sunak government released a white paper detailing all the ways operators could help reduce gambling addiction.

Among the paper's proposals included a limit on online stakes. Players under 25 years could be limited to £2 while older gamblers will have the freedom to spend up to £15 per game round. 

Another proposal was to force gambling operators to fund research, education, and the treatment of people with problem gaming. Previously, iGaming operators voluntarily donated money to gambling awareness organizations. 

Against that backdrop, operators need to make bigger efforts in reducing gambling addiction. Not only should they comply with social responsibility rules, but they should also create solutions to help end the problem.

2. Go Above and Beyond in Helping Vulnerable Players

According to the UKGC, Gamesys attempted to help a couple of players with problem gambling signs. But its efforts were barely enough. In other words, doing the bare minimum is no longer good enough for the Gambling Commission.

When a player shows the slightest signs of gambling addiction, an operator must act quickly to assist this player. This could mean talking to the customer to establish if he or she has a history of problem gambling.

More importantly, an operator must conduct thorough research to determine if a player’s deposit and staking habits are in line with their financial well-being. If a player seems to be depositing more money even after losing continuously, a casino must take further measures to help the player. 

3. Strict Verification Procedures for All Customers

Many online casinos and sportsbooks verify new customers by asking for IDs such as driving licenses, passports, and selfie pictures. But once a player becomes a loyal patron, they don’t undertake extra measures to prevent money gambling.

The Gambling Commission fined Gamesys for this exact reason. It allowed some customers to deposit and spend large sums amount of money without taking any steps to check if this money came from legitimate sources. 

Gamesys had a trigger system that should have helped it know when to conduct further KYC verification. But according to the Gambling Commission, customers broke this threshold without undergoing any verification. 

Operators in the UK need to impose triggers to help them know when to conduct advanced KYC. When a customer meets this amount, the operator must conduct proof of affordability. 

4. Fairness and Transparency are Paramount

Beyond failing to enforce AML requirements, the UKGC can come after a casino for unfair practices and hidden policies. This has happened in the past, where an operator hid its bonus policies or featured unlicensed games.

Providing unlicensed games or hiding important policies is a major violation that could have a brand’s license revoked. Fortunately, most operators have adopted measures to avoid these issues.

For example, UK casinos work with locally licensed software providers only. You can’t find a homegrown casino with a UKGC license that offers games from unknown developers.

When it comes to policies, casinos reveal the most important terms and conditions upfront. They tell you about their bonus policies, banking limits and verification requirements.

5. Keep up With Changing Regulatory Policies

Kay Roberts, the head of UKGC’s operations, says the commission is constantly enhancing its policies to increase safety, fairness and transparency in the industry. Sometimes new gambling rules can happen unexpectedly.

Keeping up with new policies allows operators to change in-house measures in a way that adheres to regulations. If the government decides to go ahead with its reduced betting limits, operators must enforce this measure immediately.

If the UKGC introduces a new threshold for conducting KYC verification, operators have no option but to adopt it. Breaking any policy or not doing enough to protect players can lead an operator into the same trouble Gamesys experienced recently.

With extensive experience in the professional iGaming industry since 2015 and thousands of casino articles and reviews under his belt, Mattias is a seasoned expert well-versed in the world of online casino gambling.
 
Having worked with industry giants such as Betsson Group and earning recognition as an expert in the UK online casino industry, Mattias brings a wealth of knowledge and credibility to his role as a dedicated iGaming journalist.
 
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