Operators of Kittybingo and Regalwins, Daub Alderney, has been handed an eye-watering £5.8 million (€6.8 million) fine by the UK Gambling Commission after an investigation found shortcomings related to social responsibility and anti-money laundering procedures.
Daub Alderney forms part of Stride Group, which was acquired by Rank Group in October 2019. The investigation found that Daub Alderney failed to maintain appropriate measures to detect or prevent problem gambling following a series of incidents that took place between January 2019 and March 2020.
One such incident relates to a customer who lost £45,410 (€52,881) within a four-month timeframe while displaying clear problem gambling behaviour, such as the use of four separate payment cards in a single day and the reversal of £133,873 (€155,900) in withdrawals.
Additionally, it was found that the company failed to maintain effective policies for anti-money laundering and against the financing of terrorism. This includes failure to have sufficient source of funds evidence, such as one instance where Daub Alderney failed to ask for evidence on the source of a £41,500 (€48,328) deposit.
Reports indicate that the company had been issued with a formal warning, however, no material changes to its systems were made.
“This case was the result of planned compliance activity and every operator out there should be aware that we will continue to take firm action against those who fail to raise standards,” Helen Venn, executive director of the Gambling Commission, said.
“The licensee’s culpability, and the requisite penalty reflecting that culpability, cannot be affected by the fact that its shares have now passed from one set of investors to another,” she added, stressing how failures took place before Rank Group took control of Daub Alderney in October 2019.
“The licensee does not escape or mitigate the consequences of its actions because its shares are sold.”
The Commission said the decision is subject to appeal.
It is not the first time the company was subject to a UKGC fine. In 2018, it was slapped with a £7.1 million (€8.3 million) fine after a corporate evaluation found failures in “appropriate risk assessment”.
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