The online sports and online casino operator Betway have today received a record penalty package from the UK Gambling Commission, who have identified serious Anti Money Laundering and Social Responsibility failings with the operator. As a result Betway have to pay a financial penalty of £11.6m, the largest such penalty package imposed on a UK licensed iGaming operator to date.
The Gambling Commission who this morning announced their action against Betway, explained that the penalty arose after the UKGC identified failings concerning how Betway dealt with seven of their high spending ‘VIP’ Customers.
In addition to the financial penalty, Betway will also have to implement a series of measures, as of which have not been elaborated on. Speaking about the record 8 figure penalty handed out to Betway, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission, Richard Watson, stated: “The actions of Betway suggest there was little regard for the welfare of its VIP customers or the impact on those around them.”
“As part of our ongoing programme of work to make gambling safer we are pushing the industry to make rapid progress on the areas that we consider will have the most significant impact to protect consumers. The treatment and handling of high value customers is a significant piece of that work and operators are in no doubt about the need to tackle the issue at speed.”
“We have set tight deadlines for when we expect to see progress and if we do not see the right results then we will have no choice but to take further action. This case highlights again why progress needs to be made.”
As part of the regulatory settlement imposed, Betway have to make a £5.8m payment in lieu of a financial penalty which will be directed towards delivering the National strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. In addition, Betway will have to make a divestment totalling £5.8m the majority of which to go to victims where it has been found, or could reasonably suspected to be, proceeds of crime.
Furthermore, Betway have been ordered to pay the Gambling Commission’s costs of £18,940, which arose from the investigation.