Land-Based Casinos Fined

‘UKGC Fines Land-Based Casinos For Failing To Follow Basic Regulatory Rules!’ (Image Source: unsplash.com/photos/U5y077qrMdI)

In news just in from the United Kingdom, the UKGC fines land-based casinos for not following regulations according to the licensing framework. Offences include not identifying problem gamblers spending too much cash on the tables or slots as well as failure to meet AML measures.

The casino companies in question are Clockfair Limited, Shaftesbury Casino Limited, Les Croupiers Casino Limited, Double Diamond Gaming Limited, and A&S Leisure Group Limited. All fines were in the 6 figure mark and may not sound like they are a huge deal, but with these companies’ profits already suffering from huge losses due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the last thing they needed was any kind of fine in these delicate times.

That said, the rules are the rules, and the UKGC is pushing out these fines as a warning to the rest of the UK market, and the message is loud and clear. Either put measures in place to fulfil the rules set out by the UK Gambling Commission, or face financial penalties. Repeat offenders could even see their license suspended until the establishment can show/prove that it has measures in place to fulfil the UKGC framework requirements.

Even online casinos are subjected to the same rules as Casumo casino, recently discovered after it was fined for the second time for failing to check problem gamblers. The Casumo offence was far more serious, resulting in a £6 million fine – enough to make the aforementioned land-based casinos think twice about making the same mistake as Casumo leads by example!

Altogether the 5 casinos will pay fines worth over £1 million with the A&S Leisure Group footing the largest fine, which came to a total of £377,340!

A&S Leisure Group Pays The Largest Fine

The A&S group’s fine comes via its ‘Non-remote Casino & Pool Betting and Ancillary Remote Operating’ licence. The firm failed to follow rules to prevent money laundering or the financing of terrorism, while the company failed to either enforce the policy or review their policy to ensure it remains effective.

Offences that fall under these licensing rules include failing to check those that cash in an amount over £10,000 into casino chips. However, the offences that led to the fine, according to the UKGC report, show that the casino did not correctly interact with customers who experienced significant losses while also the casino failed to interact with the customer after identifying potential problem gambling.

These offences resulted in a warning for the license under section 117(1)(a) of the Gambling Act 2005 and a £377,340 fine!

Clockfair Limited Fined £260,000

There were 2 key failings spotted by the UKGC, including failing to adhere to anti-money laundering and safer gambling regulations under license conditions and codes. Despite citizens against the UKGC adding more restrictions to the UK regulatory framework, the current fines will please most because the penalties are because of rules that protect people that gamble from developing a gambling addiction.

For the investigation, the UKGC identified 11 customers that the company failed to deal with correctly. One customer, in particular, lost £58,830 over the course of 12 months. When the customer’s background check came back to the UKGC, that person was the director of 2 companies that were running at a loss of circa £100,000! Despite the casino contacting the player to inquire as to whether the player was OK with his losses, the player said he was content with his level of play, and Clockfair Limited did not follow up on the investigation further resulting in a fine.

In another offence, the customer would not provide Clockfair Limited with evidence that proved his source of funds. He has lost £39,000 between 2006 and 2019. The customer did not want his family business going under with cause being because he gambled. Cockfair’s only interacted with the customer once, which was not enough according to UKGC rules, and thus this also resulted in the eventual Clockfair Limited fine.

All in all, Clockfair Limited has made some effort to identify problem gamblers and try to seek information regarding the source of funds, but at some point, further interaction slipped through the company’s system. The UKGC’s investigation eventually found these holes in the system resulting in fines!

Other Casinos Also Guilty of Similar Offences

Shaftesbury Casino Limited, Les Croupiers Casino Limited, and Double Diamond Gaming Limited also received fines for similar offences. In most cases, the casinos attempted to bring forth an investigation, but as with Clockfair Limited, the companies failed to follow procedure or had a system in place which allowed certain players to slip through their safety nets.

Reading the reports, none of the casinos appears to have meant for these customers to be overlooked. Each instance is a costly mistake, and the companies will now surely look to implement a safer system to avoid the same situations in the future. On the whole, the number of customers identified by the UKGC is low, which also leads us to believe that these casinos have helped many other customers in the past, yet lapses in procedural follow-ups have allowed the UKGC to enforce as well as justify its decision to issue fines.

You can read the full report here, and click through to each one to see exactly which parts of the UKGC regulatory framework resulted in the eventual fine for each of these casinos!

Casinos Fined & Amounts

  • Clockfair Limited – £260,000
  • Shaftesbury Casino Limited – £260,000
  • Les Croupiers Casino Limited – £202,500
  • Double Diamond Gaming Limited – £247,000
  • A&S Leisure Group Limited – £377,340

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