Lisa Cheban | 05 April, 2023 15:33 | Last update on: 05 April, 2023 15:33
The UK Gambling Commission has been cracking down on operators who fail to implement gaming laws in the country. Kindred Group is the latest operator to feel the regulator’s wrath after 32Red and Platinum Gaming received multi-million fines for responsibility failures.
The UK Gambling Commission has found that 32Red and Platinum Gaming, both owned by Kindred Group, are guilty of social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. As their punishment, the body slapped the operator with a £7.1 million penalty.
Kindred has since issued a statement admitting these shortcomings while confirming that such breaches are “unlikely” to happen again under their new framework. 32Red, which runs 32red.com, will pay £4.2 million and Platinum Gaming, which runs unibet.co.uk, will part with £2.9 million. Additionally, both operators have received an official warning from the Commission.
The regulator accused 32Red of not fulfilling its social responsibility obligations, saying the operator failed to identify customers needing assistance from gambling-related harm before it was too late. One example was a customer who was allowed to deposit £43,000 and lose £36,000 in a week.
The UKGC said that although customer activities at 32Red were documented, they were superficial and lacked depth and probing. 32Red was accused of simply accepting a customer’s assurance that they were okay with their level of gambling and could afford it.
In addition, the UK Gambling Commission discovered shortcomings in 32Red’s anti-money laundering policies. Their financial triggers for AML inspections were too high and didn’t effectively manage the risks.
The operator is accused of having inadequate controls, allowing a lot of gambling to occur quickly without being aware of the customer’s financial circumstances. Furthermore, customers subject to the source of funds inquiry were, in most cases, not barred from depositing and gambling.
On their part, the regulator accused Platinum Gaming of not having proper policies for recognizing if the same individual had multiple accounts. The UKGC noted that customers who had self-excluded or been blocked on the 32Red platform could still sign up with Platinum Gaming. Additionally, the brand didn’t identify and interact with customers who may have been suffering any adverse effects from gambling.
According to Kay Roberts, the Commission’s executive director, these missteps demonstrate that neither of the operators had taken the necessary steps to protect their customers from the potential harm of gambling.
“Our investigations also showed that policies and procedures were overlooked, both around customer accounts and anti-money laundering practices. Ultimately, it is an example which all gambling operators should take notice of to ensure they protect their customers at all times,” Roberts remarked.