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Online gaming company Betway has been hit for a record £11.6 million fine package over a series of social responsibility and money laundering failings.
The Gambling Commission said that in one case, the operator failed to carry out a source of funds from a “VIP” customer who had deposited more than £8 million and lost more than £4 million over a four-year period.
Besides that, Betway has also failed to conduct effective social responsibility interactions with a customer who has deposited and lost £187,000 in just 2 days.
And the investigation found that due to a lack of understanding of the welfare of individual customers and the source of funds checks, the company permitted £5.8 million of money to flow through the business that was found to, or may fairly be presumed to be, proceeds of crime.
The Gambling Commission said most of this money will now be divested and returned to the victims.
The regulator probe also disclosed insufficient monitoring from management, and investigation on the responsible personal management licences holders are ongoing.
Executive director at the Gambling Commission, Richard Watson mentioned during the interview, “The actions of Betway suggest there was little regard for the welfare of its VIP customers or the impact on those around them.”
The executive director further explained the situation: “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.”
He pointed out that the treatment and handling of VIP customers is a vital piece of the work and there is no doubt that the operators need to address the problem at speed. He mentioned again they have set strict deadlines when they expect progress to be made and if they do not see the correct outcomes, they will have no choice but to take further action.
The Betway case is the UK’s biggest penalty package ever. Past cases which were the biggest at the time include online gambling company 888 being hit with a penalty package of more than £7.8 million in 2017 and William Hill paying at least £6.2 million in 2018 as a penalty package.