UK online gambling operator NSUS Ltd has been hit with financial and regulatory penalties after a UKGC investigation uncovered a string of failures to comply with regulations regarding money laundering and social responsibility, The operator, which currently goes by the name of GGpoker, was fined more than £670,000 and issued with a warning by the regulator.
The list of issues thrown up in the course of the investigation represented a series of incidents in which NSUS was in open breach of regulations that it has signed up to. The operator co-operated fully with the UKGC investigation, which may have saved it from stricter penalties. It has been a busy few months for the UKGC, which has recently also imposed fines on Petfre Ltd., the parent company of Betfred, and Betway.
The first breach revealed related to NSUS’ responsibility to its customers on responsible gambling, The UKGC’s Code of Conduct specifies that licensed betting operators should identify and interact with players at risk of problem gambling, which the investigation found NSUS had failed to do. Not only that, but 125 players who had opted for self-exclusion from gambling sites had received promotional emails from the operator during the period of their exclusion.
On the money laundering side of things, the UKGC again found NSUS wanting. Under the regulations, betting operators must conduct a thorough risk assessment of areas of their business that may be vulnerable to money laundering and the funding of terrorism. The operator had failed to do this, and furthermore had failed to implement policies and procedures to strengthen the business’s weak points on those issues.
Casinos that hold a UK license are supposed, by law, to operate a full blacklist for customers who have signed up to Gamstop. NSUS’ failure to do this is an error that must be remedied in future or, one presumes, it could face stronger sanctions including the potential loss of its license.
For similar, but more extensive, wrongdoing, Petfre was fined close to £3 million just last month. Meanwhile, Betway was issued a £400,000 fine after the bookmaker was found to have placed marketing on web pages that were intended for children. We may well see further enforcement action in the near future, as it appears that the UKGC has chosen to take action on non-compliant operators. Customers who have trusted casinos on the Gamstop program to comply with their responsibilities under the law will hope that any further such breaches are punished as swiftly.