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UK – Gambling Commission fine Mr Green for regulatory failures

By - 27 February 2020

Mr Green has become the ninth gambling business to face action as part of a regulator probe that has led to more than £20m in penalty packages since 2018.

Since the enforcement activity began, six operators have surrendered their licence and can no longer transact with consumers in Britain. During the course of investigations into the nine most serious operating licence cases the Commission examined the actions of 22 individual Personal Management Licence holders. Of these, six surrendered their licence, six received a formal warning, one received an advice to conduct, seven are still ongoing and no further action was taken against two.

As part of today’s penalty package Mr Green will pay £3m to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms because it failed to have effective procedures aimed at preventing harm and money laundering.

As a result of these failures, Mr Green was found to have not carried out social responsibility interaction with a customer who won £50,000, gambled it away and deposited thousands more pounds, took ten-year-old evidence of a £176,000 claims payout as satisfactory evidence of source of funds (SOF) for a customer who deposited over £1m, and accepted a photograph of a laptop screen showing currency in dollars on an alleged crypto trading account as adequate SOF.

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, explained: “Our investigation uncovered systemic failings in respect of both Mr Green’s social responsibility and AML controls which affected a significant number of customers across its online casinos. Consumers in Britain have the right to know that there are checks and balances in place which will help keep them safe and ensure gambling is crime-free – and we will continue to crack down on operators who fail in this area.”

The online casino enforcement work is in addition to the Commission’s ongoing strategy to make gambling online safer. This has included strengthened online age and identity verification, enhanced rules and guidance on identifying and interacting with customers who may be at risk of harm and the banning of credit cards. The regulator is also pushing the industry to raise standards in the areas of VIP practices, advertising technology and game design, and is currently looking at online stake limits.

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