Online gambling giant Betway has been taken to task over its failings to properly handle it's commitment to responsible gambling and anti-money laundering (AML). It will have to pay a fine of £11.6 million, as well implement a string of new measures.
The UK Gambling Commission publicly announced the failings, including in one case, how Betway failed to carry out a source of funds check on one of their VIP customers, who had deposited over £8million and lost over £4m during his four years at Betway.
In another case, Betway allowed a customer to deposit £187,000 in two days without carrying out any responsible gaming checks. The player lost all of his deposit money.
The UKGC's investigation revealed that in total, Betway allowed £5.8 million of money to enter their business without proper customer affordability or source of funds checks. Such large sums of money could be crime-related. Betway will return the majority of the £5.8million to the victims.
This isn't the first time a gambling company has been fined millions of pounds
Richard Watson, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission, explained how Betways actions suggested that they held little regard for their VIP customers and their welfare, not the least the impact of their actions on the victims and their close family and friends.
Mr Watson said: Today's case illustrated why operators' management of high value customers must change and why the industry must do everything to interact with customers responsibly.
“As part of our ongoing programme of work to make gambling safer we are pushing the industry to make rapid progress on the areas that we consider will have the most significant impact to protect consumers. The treatment and handling of high value customers is a significant piece of that work and operators are in no doubt about the need to tackle the issue at speed.
“We have set tight deadlines for when we expect to see progress and if we do not see the right results then we will have no choice but to take further action. This case highlights again why progress needs to be made.”
Neil McArthur, the Gambling Commission Cheif Executive put in place tough targets last October to make gambling in Britain safer. One of those targets focused on how to support high-value players who are often incesntivised to play more by gambling companies.