Genesis Global escapes licence revocation as Gambling Commission imposes £3.8m fine
Online operator Genesis Global, which runs 14 online casino brands in Great Britain, has been struck with a £3.8m fine by the Gambling Commission.
The operator’s licence was suspended in July 2020 after enquiries revealed significant social responsibility and money laundering failures.
Three months later, the suspension was lifted following significant compliance improvements, according to the Gambling Commission.
However, the regulator’s investigation continued and concluded today with a £3.8m fine, a warning, and an additional licence condition demanding further auditing of the business.
Genesis powers brands including genesiscasino.com, casinplanet.com and casinocruise.com.
The regulator identified serious failings throughout the business. It discovered the operator had not carried out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions with, or placed any account restrictions on, a customer who spent £245,000 in three months.
The Gambling Commission said that only three days into the customer relationship, Genesis knew the customer was an NHS nurse earning £30,000 per year.
Another customer was able to lose £197,000 over six months without Genesis carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions or establishing affordability levels, while a third was allowed to lose £234,000 in just six weeks, again without any meaningful responsible gambling interactions or proof of affordability.
The Gambling Commission also identified several money laundering failures within the business.
One customer who lost £209,000 was assumed to be on a £111,000 salary by Genesis as the customer told the operator they were a company director, and that is the average salary of a company director in London.
The operator failed to consider that the position of director could carry a broad range of salaries, and that the customer’s company was in fact dormant.
A further customer was allowed to deposit more than £1.3m and lose £600,000 before the operator carried out sufficient source of funds checks.
The customer subsequently provided Genesis with documents including a bank statement showing deposits into the account to the value of £23,000 and payments out to the value of £27,000, clearly not enough to support the level of gambling seen.
“All gambling businesses should pay very close attention to this case,” said Gambling Commission executive director Helen Venn.
“The Commission will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety and that extends to stopping a business from actually operating. Failing to follow rules aimed at keeping gambling safe and crime-free will never be a viable business option for gambling businesses in Britain.”
iGaming NEXT has contacted Genesis Global for comment.
The Gambling Commission revealed in December last year that it had imposed a record total of £32.1m in fines and regulatory settlements upon operators during 2020-21.
Casework undertaken during the period also led the Commission to suspend five operator licences and revoke a further operator licence, as well as nine personal management licences.
Also in December, buzzbingo.com operator Buzz Group was hit with a £780,000 fine for social responsibility and money laundering failures.
Rank Group’s online subsidiary Rank Digital and lottery betting operator Annexio were also ordered to pay a total of £1.3m last week in response to breaches of their licence conditions.