A gambling business must pay a £760,000 fine and undergo extensive independent auditing after a Commission investigation revealed social responsibility and money laundering failures.
EU Lotto – which operates the lottoland.co.uk website – has also received a formal warning for the failures which occurred between October 2019 and November 2020.
Social responsibility requirement failures included neglecting to take into account the Commission’s formal customer interaction guidance.
- customers frequently changing deposit limits not being considered as markers of harm
- no evidence of suitable financial and affordability assessments being conducted to identify whether a customer was being harmed or at risk of harm
- customer interactions predominately consisted of an email detailing the responsible gambling tools available and did not require a customer response – there was little evidence of interactions being adapted depending on the extent of potential harm.
Anti-money laundering failures included:
- not effectively reviewing or analysing bank statements provided by customers to prove address
- not restricting customer accounts following source of funds (SoF) requests
- allowing customers to register third-party debit cards (such as those in a different name to the customer) to their account
- relying too heavily on ineffective threshold triggers and generally lacking information regarding how much a customer should be allowed to spend based on income, wealth or any other risk factors.
Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director, said: “This case, like other recent enforcement action, was the result of planned compliance activity. All operators should be very aware that we will not hesitate to take firm action against those who fail to meet the high standards we expect for consumers in Britain.”
Read EU Lotto’s full penalty on the Commission’s regulatory sanctions register.
Nigel Birrell, CEO of Lottoland commented: “Lottoland is fully committed to ensuring the highest standards of compliance, including its anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations in all of the jurisdictions in which it operates. The Gambling Commission fine was related to legacy issues around some of our compliance controls which have now been addressed. Lottoland has extensive compliance measures in place and we are confident that our current policies and processes meet all relevant standards.
Remedial action taken included significantly increased investment in our compliance function, more than doubling headcount, alongside a host of other initiatives including bringing in third party support, enhancing training and a review of key policies. In addition, we recently committed to building our individual processes into an automated system to improve the system even further. “