BetVictor to pay £2m regulatory settlement in UK for multiple social responsibility and AML failures
BetVictor has been ordered to pay a total of £2m by the Gambling Commission after an investigation revealed numerous social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) breaches.
The operator, trading as BV Gaming Limited, runs other brands besides BetVictor, including hbingo.co.uk, heartbingo.co.uk and parimatch.co.uk.
It will pay the money as part of a settlement with the regulator, which will then contribute towards the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
The company was deemed to have breached several of its licensing conditions following a compliance assessment conducted in March 2020.
The assessment identified failings across several areas between January 2019 and March 2020, including social responsibility, AML and marketing requirements.
For example, the operator’s money laundering risk assessment was found to be lacking in detail, and did not adequately include risk factors such as high spenders or consumers using multiple accounts or wallets.
Further, there was no evidence of effective due diligence on the majority of customer accounts reviewed, while certain reviewed customers were able to deposit and spend large sums of money before source of funds and affordability levels were established. Some customers were also permitted to continue gambling after hitting an initial AML trigger.
BV accepted it had failed to thoroughly implement the measures described in the regulations, and that at the time of the assessment it was therefore not in full compliance with its licence conditions.
The operator also accepted it had not been fully compliant with regulations requiring it to ensure at-risk customers were protected from gambling-related harm.
The company subsequently submitted a remedial action plan to the Gambling Commission within two days of receiving notice of its licence review.
As a result of the Commission’s ruling, the operator will divest £352,000 of gross gambling yield (GGY) gained as a result of the failings and pay a total of £1.73m in lieu of a financial penalty.
The firm has also agreed to publish a public statement in relation to the case, and make payment of £11,000 towards the Gambling Commission’s costs related to the investigation.
Leanne Oxley, Gambling Commission director of enforcement, said: “As a gambling regulator, our focus is on ensuring that gambling in Britain is fair, safe and crime-free, and BetVictor failed consumers by breaching rules aimed at achieving these objectives.
“Non-compliance – no matter what the reason – will never be a viable business option for gambling businesses. We will always be tough on operators who fail in this way.”
The Commission said this case would be used to encourage compliance from other operators, as the breaches arose in circumstances that were similar to previous cases it had dealt with.
While the breaches were considered serious, mitigating factors included BV Gaming’s early recognition of its failings, its cooperation with the Commission and its implementation of an action plan to remedy the shortcomings.