UKGC Hits bet365 with $740K Fine over AML, Social Responsibility Breaches

The UK gambling regulator, the Gambling Commission (UKGC), announced that bet365 was the latest operator hit with a fine due to regulatory breaches. On Thursday, the gambling regulator confirmed that the leading betting and gaming company is subject to a £582,120 ($737,234) monetary sanction. The hefty fine comes after the Commission uncovered social responsibility failures and anti-money laundering breaches (AML).

The gambling watchdog confirmed that the sanction comes after it discovered failings during a compliance assessment dating back to March 2022. It said that bet365 would have to pay the fine as a part of a regulatory settlement. Moreover, UKGC said that the proceeds from the fine will benefit socially responsible causes.

Providing further details, the UK gambling regulator said that the £582,120 ($737,234) fine breaks down to two penalties which will be payable by Hillside (UK Gaming) ENC, bet365’s bingo and casino products licensee, and the company that holds a license for sports betting, Hillside (UK Sports) ENC. While the penalty against Hillside (UK Sports) ENC is £239,085 ($302,800), the fine against Hillside (UK Gaming) ENC is £343,035 ($434,440), explained the gambling commission.

Kay Roberts, UKGC’s executive director of operations, revealed that the uncovered breaches and failings were not as serious as other failures by operators recently. “We expect high standards from operators in terms of keeping gambling safe, fair and crime-free, and will always take action to correct any failings,” she added. Finally, Roberts said that a repeated offense can escalate from a monetary penalty to a regulatory action against the operator.

The policy and procedural failings may not have been as severe as those at other gambling businesses in recent years but they were failings nonetheless.

Kay Roberts, executive director of operations at the UKGC

The Regulator Shares Details About the Uncovered Deficiencies

Describing the uncovered AML deficiencies, the gambling watchdog said that the company had ineffective know-your-customer and customer due diligence triggers. As a result, it was at risk of money laundering. Additionally, UKGC said that the operator failed to “undertake independent verification checks and over relied on customers’ annual self-verification of know your customer information, such as identification documents,” while at the same time failed to conduct financial sanctions checks for new customers before their first deposits.

Focusing on social responsibility failures, the Commission said that bet365’s interactions with customers were “frequently not tailored to the specific customer journey or spectrum of harm and therefore interactions were not meaningful.” What’s more, it said that the operator’s Early Risk Detection System didn’t demonstrate effectiveness about the impact of interactions or whether additional actions were needed.