White Hat Gaming Limited, the gaming technology company and operator of some household online casino names, is to pay a settlement of £1.3 million in lieu of a financial penalty following a UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) investigation into the company’s handling of seven customer accounts.
A routine audit conducted by the UKGC in January 2019 identified a number of failings in the way the online bingo, casino, and sportsbook operator identified and managed vulnerable customers who were at a higher risk of problem gambling and money laundering.
The UKGC found inadequate anti-money laundering and social responsibility procedures resulted in a number of failures which included not establishing the source of funds for a customer who lost £70,000 in three months, and ineffective interaction with a second customer who lost £50,000 in just six hours as well as a third customer who lost £85,000 in little more than a single hour.
White Hat Gaming who runs big-name online casinos Kasimba and Spinland was found to have failures on the operator’s www.grandivy.com, www.21casino.com, www.hellocasino.com, and www.dreamvegas.com websites.
The UKGC noted that “White Hat Gaming cooperated with our enquiries throughout the course of the investigation,” and as well as paying the £1.3m regulatory settlement, White Hat Gaming has committed to an ongoing programme of improvements to strengthen its policies and procedures.
White Hat Gaming Statement
White Hat Gaming Ltd issued a statement on their website which read:
“On 28th January 2021, the Gambling Commission (the “Commission”) publicly released a statement relating to White Hat Gaming (“WHG”). This was a regulatory settlement offered by WHG in lieu of a fine and further regulatory action relating to seven customers as a result of a routine audit by the Commission which commenced in January 2019. The regulatory settlement involved a payment to National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and a payment to cover the Commission’s costs. None of the customers involved were subject to any police investigations or criminal action and, hence, no divestment was required as no victims of crime were involved.
WHG fully cooperated with the investigation and took proactive steps to ensure all findings were addressed and recommendations implemented.
WHG recognises the importance of publicising the findings of regulatory investigations to assist the wider industry in learning from any shortcomings and to assist in the general improvement of the regulatory compliance of the industry as a whole. In this context, it is important to note the historical nature of this evaluation which resulted in the regulatory settlement as well as the continued and significant efforts by WHG to make gambling safer for our customers in the UK.
We are proud to have worked closely with the Gambling Commission to bring our thresholds, policies and procedures in line with best practice and in line with the Commission’s objective to raise standards within the industry. WHG invested, and continues to invest in people, policies and processes, in the areas of safer gambling, affordability and AML with customer sustainability remaining central to the operating principles at WHG.”