Gamesys Operations Slapped with £6 Million Penalty Over Social Responsibility and AML Failures

£6m fine for online operator Gamesys

In a recent turn of events, online gambling giant Gamesys Operations Limited is facing a staggering £6 million penalty following a comprehensive investigation into its operations by the Gambling Commission.

The probe, conducted between November 2021 and July 2022, exposed critical lapses in social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) practices. Let’s take a closer look at the failures that attracted the fine.

Social Responsibility Failures: Player Welfare Ignored

Gamesys Operations Limited, known for operating popular sites like ballycasino.co.uk, doublebubblebingo.com, and jackpotjoy.com, has come under the limelight for failing to uphold social responsibility standards. 

As per a Commission compliance assessment revealed in May 2022, the following key issues were identified:

Inadequate Identification of Players at Risk

The operator fell short in identifying players at risk of gambling-related harm by…

  • Inappropriately relying on checks that point towards their historical voluntary arrangement, bankruptcy or insolvency as a sign of gambling
  • Having a flawed system of deposit limits that failed to quickly identify risks of harm for certain players with no red flags raised upon one player depositing £8,255 within three days, another losing £5,968 within five weeks, and yet another losing £17,482 within 34 days of account opening.

Lack of Proactive Player Interaction

The same compliance assessment also reported a lack of proactive interaction with players at risk or experiencing gambling harm. These are the examples cited:

  • Carrying out responsible gambling interaction with just one player who lost nearly £10,000, meanwhile recommending new games and promotions to the person
  • Interacting only once with a player who lost £19,709 in five months
  • Forgoing the operator’s specified responsible gambling procedures by not having sufficiently detailed records of interactions, considerations, and explanations for decisions 

AML Failures: Money Laundering Risks Unchecked

The investigation also unearthed these serious deficiencies in Gamesys' anti-money laundering practices:

AML Trigger Evasion

In certain cases, players could evade AML triggers and thresholds set by the operator. These players were able to gamble large amounts of money without proper AML checks being conducted by Gamesys.

As much as £14,585 was deposited by a certain player in 28 weeks, £18,884 by another in over six months and £34,280 in just five and a half months by yet another without any of these events triggering AML checks.

Inadequate Due Diligence

Gamesys was found conducting inadequate customer due diligence, relying excessively on third-party information acquired by, for instance, internet research, and verbal assurances by the players themselves.

This lack of scrutiny was evident in three discrete cases where one player deposited more than £25,000 in three months, another deposited over £58,000 in six months, and yet another deposited more than £65,000 in six months.

Insufficient Reinvestment Policy 

Gamesys’ ‘Reinvestment of winnings policy' was considered inadequate in addressing the risk of depositing funds potentially derived from illegitimate sources rather than legitimate past winnings.

Regulator’s Statement and Industry Impact

The Executive Director of Operations at the Gambling Commission, Kay Roberts underscored the regulator's focus on ensuring that every operator employs policies and procedures that are conducive to fair, safe, and crime-free gambling.

He stated, “We take this responsibility extremely seriously and whenever we find failures in policies and procedures then the business can expect significant regulatory action.”

The £6 million fine reflects the severity of the identified failures, emphasising the need for stringent regulatory action. As these breaches came to light, the industry is reminded once again of the critical importance of implementing robust social responsibility and AML measures.

The figures involved in these violations emphasise the need for operators to prioritise player welfare and financial integrity. We will take this opportunity to state that at FastestWithdrawalCasinos, our commitment goes beyond finding the most reliable fast-paying casinos in the UK for you.

We also provide in-depth coverage of the latest industry developments so you, the players, stay in the loop. We are doing our part. Are you?

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.
 
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