Lisa Cheban | 14 February, 2023 15:59 | Last update on: 14 February, 2023 15:59
UKGC Fines InTouch Games for Breaching Anti-Money Laundering Laws
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is among the strictest gambling regulatory bodies globally. Recently, the no-nonsense commission has penalised operators who fail to adhere to all its rules and regulations.
On January 25, 2023, the commission announced InTouch Games, an online gambling operator, as its latest victim. The UKGC announced a £6.1 million fine following thorough investigations that found the operator guilty of breaking anti-money laundering and social responsibility laws
According to the official report, the body accused InTouch Games of several social responsibility failures. The body accuses the operator of not interacting with their operators soon enough until they are flagged for extended periods of play and erratic play patterns.
The UKGC also accused the operator of merely taking their customer’s word that they earn £6,000 monthly without verifying this information. This is after the customer’s account has been flagged for gambling during “unsociable hours.”
Regarding the anti-money laundering failures, the regulatory commission found In Touch Games guilty of the following charges:
- Not adequately considering the risks of a player benefiting from a life insurance policy, associations with potential high-risk jurisdictions, or being a PEP (politically exposed person). The body accused the operator of not taking into account the PEP’s terrorist financing and money laundering associations.
- Not having adequate policies and protocols to address the risks in the point above.
- Not keenly considering the UKGC’s terrorist financing risk assessment and money laundering guidance.
- Not implementing its protocols effectively. For example, the commission says the operator failed to confirm the source of funds of players who had deposited and gambled away at least £10,000 within 12 months.
Third-Time Guilty as Charged
Interestingly, this is the third time that InTouch Games is coming under the commission’s radar. In 2019, the operator was fined £2.2 million for failing to implement effective measures to prevent money laundering and protect customers from gambling harm. ITG was fined alongside other operators, including Betit Operations Limited, MT Secure Trade, and BestBet.
Two years later, in March 2021, the Gambling Commission charged ITG £3.5 million for social responsibility and money laundering failings. The operator was also fined for not having fair and transparent terms. This includes not stating the bonus deposit limits and validity period in the SMS text.
Following the latest development, UKGC’s Executive Director of Operations, Kay Roberts, said the commission expected significant improvement from ITG following their history with the commission’s compliance assessment. Roberts said that although the operator had shown improvement in many areas, they were still way off the mark.
He commented, “This £6.1m fine shows that we will take escalating enforcement action where failures are repeated and all licensees should be acutely aware of this.”
Founded in 2001, InTouch Games is a technology company that operates 11 gambling websites. Popular names include cashmo.co.uk, bonusboss.co.uk, drslot.co.uk, jammymonkey.com, and slotfactory.com. All these websites failed the commission’s compliance assessment in March 2022.