The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) filed a lawsuit against a reputable online gambling firm, 32Red after it has failed to protect its customers in what is termed as to protect a problem gambler, money laundering, and social responsibility checks. 32Red was slapped with a £2m fine penalty.
In gambling, customer welfare is a priority factor to consider in their operations. The Gambling Commission presented enough evidence about their case against 32Red. They mainly urged with 22 incidents that clearly could prove that the customer had gambling problems. Their proof was an investigation of the customer dealings as from November 2014 to April 2017 of a customer who had deposited £758,000.
Before any customer deposits any amount to a gambling firm, the firm is supposed to do money laundering, and social responsibilities check as required by the law set via the gambling commission. These checks are not only intended to stop any form of money frauds that would want to get clean via gambling channels but also would help those with gambling problems from losing all their money to gambling.
32Red not only accepted a deposit of £758,000 without doing the proper checks required but also offered some bonuses to encourage the customer to keep on betting more frequently with them. Despite their client having a net salary of £2,150, the client was still able to raise an average amount of £45,000 monthly. According to the 32Red company, the customer cheated claiming a net salary of £13,000 monthly of which, t was still not credible enough to accept those monthly deposits to a gambling firm by law. The customer won a seven-figure digit, but surprisingly he reinvested back to the same gambling firm of which this is an alarming case of problem gambling. 32Red failed in their obligation to take the rightful procedures by reviewing their customers’ financial status and asses the social responsibility in all of their deposits. The customer took more than a month to validate issues concerning his financial position while on the other hand, 32Red could not clearly explain on how the client had acquired that money he deposited to them since the firm failed to fulfill their money laundering procedures on their customers.
The £2m fine accounted for a £1.3m payment that was to go to a Gambling strategy plan that intends to tackle issues on problem gambling, a £709,046 divestment on the financial gain while the rest covered up for the investigation costs, policy improvement and risk management departments.
Kindred who owned 32Red accepted the penalty and pledged that all measures supposed to be done will be implemented to ensure that all customers will be enjoying gambling in a safe and secure environment where no law will be violated. Improvements and changes affecting both the processing and procedures were implemented immediately. These changes included; a review on all current customers profiles against the revised policies, a third party group that helps in anti-money laundering detection and companies in the same platform unified so that they work together toward the same goal in an organized manner.
Richard Watson who was the commission’s executive director said that instead of gambling firms motivating or even convincing their customers to gamble more like the case of 32Red gambling firms are expected to be limiting the amount their customers are dedicating to gambling guided with the specified checks. Other gambling firms like Sky Bet, Tab-corp and William Hill found themselves in the same trap as 32Red resulting to large sums of fines as penalties for failing to prioritize customer welfare on their procedures and operations.