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Online gambling firms fined in Gambling Commission crackdown

Three online casino firms have been fined £14m by the UK Gambling Commission after it uncovered failings in safeguards designed to prevent money-laundering and protect problem gamblers.

The Gambling Commission ordered Casumo to pay a penalty package of £5.8m while Videoslots will pay £1m in lieu of a financial penalty. Daub Alderney was also hit with a sizeable fine of £7.1m, which was previously announced.

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A fourth company, CZ Holdings (known primarily in the UK market for it's DrVegas brand), surrendered it's right to provide online gambling services in the UK after the Commission opened a review of it's licence. Another six firms currently remain under investigation according to the regulator.

The fines far outstrip the previous largest penalty handed out by the Gambling Commission, a £7.8m fine paid by 888 Casino after more than 7000 vulnerable players had voluntarily banned themselves from the operator's web site who were then allowed to continue gambling.

Secretary of state for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright said this morning: "Any online operator that thinks it can ignore it's duty to protect players should take note today - there will be consequences. Protecting vulnerable consumers is our prime concern and it must be the priority for gambling operators too."

"There are robust requirements to safeguard players and prevent money-laundering which all businesses must adhere to if they wish to operate in the British market. I am pleased to see the Gambling Commission taking the strongest possible action when companies fail to meet their obligations."

Neil McArthur, the Gambling Commission chief executive added: "Online casino operators should sit up and pay attention. It is not enough to have policies and procedures in place. Everyone in a gambling business must understand it's policies and procedures and take responsibility for properly applying them."

"We expect operators to know their customers and to ask the right questions to make sure they meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations. Anyone in a position of authority needs to be aware that we will not only act against businesses when we take regulatory action - we will also hold individuals to account where they are responsible for an operator's failings."

Videoslots said in a statement today: "We accept there were weaknesses in our systems relating to how we managed our customers for anti-money laundering and social responsibility purposes and have taken proactive and timely action to address all the issues identified."

 

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