Labrokes/Coral fined £5.9m

mack341

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Despite issuing these fines, the ukgc guidance still seems to me nebulous, maybe they give casinos etc.. more detailed guidance which they don't mention in articles like this.

"The commission also highlighted a Coral customer who spent £1.5m over nearly three years, during which time they logged onto their account an average 10 times a day for one month and lost £64,000 in one four week period. "

Okay that sounds pretty bad, but in terms of their other high rollers is it, and what about losing £250,00...if someone can prove the funds were legit..what then?

The ukgc are mixing up money laundering/proceeds of crime with responsible gambling again, I don't know why they can't be largely kept seperate..true money launderers want to lose the least amount of money possible, but gambling addicts will lose everything, so that is a clear different pattern of gambling and problem to be resolved.
 
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ChopleyIOM

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Okay that sounds pretty bad, but in terms of their other high rollers is it, and what about losing £250,00...if someone can prove the funds were legit..what then?

That's the point, they didn't do any SOW to prove the funds were legit and/or could be afforded, and Ladbrokes Coral admitted that they had inadequate legacy systems in place that didn't meet the new regulatory requirements.

Seems pretty clear cut to me.

112067
 

steveh35

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I closed my account on one of the big spam email casinos last year after receiving constant text and emails they continued after I have closed the account and I was told by chat that it takes time for the system to update we are talking weeks not hours or days.
 

mack341

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That's the point, they didn't do any SOW to prove the funds were legit and/or could be afforded, and Ladbrokes Coral admitted that they had inadequate legacy systems in place that didn't meet the new regulatory requirements.

Seems pretty clear cut to me.

View attachment 112067

So at what point in that example do they need to do the SOW, and how often, 1 every month?

And they're using these big, standout examples of millions lost to fine companies, but also to bring in SOW/kyc changes for the low rollers, or at least that will be the effect of unclear guidance, I think rizk got a lot of stick in their thread for a universal, blanket sow approach.

Edit: I wasn't meaning the grounds to SOW that 1.5 million losing gambler were nebulous, but if these are the cases that casinos need to look out most for, then there should hardly be any change for the majority of gamblers, but I feel there are clear hints that UKGC want widespread kyc and sows, and yet they never use examples of fines issued where the figures involved are closer to the average player's losses/deposits.
 
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nutnut

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Where does all this money go.
5m is serious cash, any chance I can get 100k if that will make a difference to my life! It's sad so much money washing about in casinos and none of it ever goes to the right people. Greedy getting more greedy.
 

neilw

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The UKGC will be swimming in cash - I wonder if they're planning to open a government casino - 'Commission Casino' or 'UKGC Slots'? :)

It's how most regulators fund themselves, through fines. The Financial Services industry is exactly the same. It's cute really. The Regulator doesn't do their job properly, the Banking industry is found to be breaking all the rules, the regulator then gets to fine them. Happy days. Who regulates the regulator?
 

dunover

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It's worth pointing out that these 'breaches' were historical dating back 5 to 2 years ago. Now cast your minds back, the SoW demands were only really highlighted after that period which you can verify by checking the old threads on here and their dates when this matter really moved into prominence.
 

colinsunderland

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It's worth pointing out that these 'breaches' were historical dating back 5 to 2 years ago. Now cast your minds back, the SoW demands were only really highlighted after that period which you can verify by checking the old threads on here and their dates when this matter really moved into prominence.

I know of SoW checks being carried out 10-15 years ago, the laws were always there, its only recently they have made headlines. Just because casinos didn't follow them doesn't mean they shouldn't have. Same as the advertising rules that everyone has to follow now, they were in place a good couple of years before any affiliate program started clamping down on them.
 

dunover

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I know of SoW checks being carried out 10-15 years ago, the laws were always there, its only recently they have made headlines. Just because casinos didn't follow them doesn't mean they shouldn't have. Same as the advertising rules that everyone has to follow now, they were in place a good couple of years before any affiliate program started clamping down on them.
Considering we had the old Gaming Board 15 years ago and the UKGC didn't even exist until 2007?

I think you'll find the 2014 Gambling and Licensing Act was where proper SoW and AML began in earnest as it was the trigger for all sites taking UK players to get licensed by the UKGC. Then it became possible and far easier to enforce checks on foreign-based operators as well as UK ones. The data seems to back this idea up when you examine the dates in referred to in various UKGC monetary sanctions.

Remember, the UKGC is a typical underfunded Government organization which until recent years knew less about the industry than many of you would imagine, so things move slowly.
 

colinsunderland

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Considering we had the old Gaming Board 15 years ago and the UKGC didn't even exist until 2007?

I think you'll find the 2014 Gambling and Licensing Act was where proper SoW and AML began in earnest as it was the trigger for all sites taking UK players to get licensed by the UKGC. Then it became possible and far easier to enforce checks on foreign-based operators as well as UK ones. The data seems to back this idea up when you examine the dates in referred to in various UKGC monetary sanctions.

Remember, the UKGC is a typical underfunded Government organization which until recent years knew less about the industry than many of you would imagine, so things move slowly.

And? SoW/AML laws existed before the UKGC.
 

goatwack

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"However, group underlying profit before tax came in at £434.6 million, up from £151 million."

Don't think this fine's going to faze them terribly. It's chump change to them :cool:
 

dunover

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https://www.casino.org/news/uk-gamb...-operators-to-take-money-laundering-seriously
One case there that dates back to 2008, and clearly showing they should have submitted a SAR under the 2002 act

Grosvenor also failed to properly report the suspicious nature of Ding’s play to law enforcement agencies, something required under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Legislation is one thing, being equipped with the knowledge and tools to administer and enforce it is quite another. In the case of the Financial Services industry with its resources and means this is usually sufficient - we are talking about what is essentially a QUANGO set up in haste back in 2007 and staffed primarily by ex-civil servants and Police officers who had already done 30 years government service. As a result there was little or no industry-specific expertise which (as you said yourself) meant that existing laws regarding marketing, fair contract and financial misconduct were not enforced until far later than they should have been.

Since then things are much better and the UKGC has upped its game by hiring the right people so now we see a plethora of rules and actions relevant to the industry which were previously absent. I think you and many others underestimate the complexity of the task in hand here and the history of regulatory development in the UK.
 

colinsunderland

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Legislation is one thing, being equipped with the knowledge and tools to administer and enforce it is quite another. In the case of the Financial Services industry with its resources and means this is usually sufficient - we are talking about what is essentially a QUANGO set up in haste back in 2007 and staffed primarily by ex-civil servants and Police officers who had already done 30 years government service. As a result there was little or no industry-specific expertise which (as you said yourself) meant that existing laws regarding marketing, fair contract and financial misconduct were not enforced until far later than they should have been.

Since then things are much better and the UKGC has upped its game by hiring the right people so now we see a plethora of rules and actions relevant to the industry which were previously absent. I think you and many others underestimate the complexity of the task in hand here and the history of regulatory development in the UK.

The rules were perfectly adequate, the UKGC has made them more complex for absolutely no reason. The 2002 act worked fine in other industries, and would have worked fine if it was enforced at an earlier point.

William Hill were, I think, the only firm who actually took proper action back then, but I know personally 3 people who had to supply SoW to them pre 2005.
 

dunover

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The rules were perfectly adequate, the UKGC has made them more complex for absolutely no reason. The 2002 act worked fine in other industries, and would have worked fine if it was enforced at an earlier point.

William Hill were, I think, the only firm who actually took proper action back then, but I know personally 3 people who had to supply SoW to them pre 2005.
Much of the issue is down to bad communication and woolly rules specified by the UKGC - an example is the 'void bets' for dupe-account SE players. We all expect the bets to be refunded if voided and indeed voice our belief that is so on here, quite regularly. Read the wording however and nowhere does the UKGC actually state deposits MUST be refunded, they certainly infer so but don't state it outright (at least they didn't last time I checked).

The operators are not experts in UK laws and financial regulations, especially the foreign-owned ones and quite reasonably expect the UKGC to be clear and specific in how these apply to the gaming industry - after all, they pay big fees for their licenses, right?

I agree now things are much clearer but before it was almost like the operators were being set up to fail by the UKGC. It must be a nightmare to balance the UKGC rules alongside the more detailed legislation they are based on and know which way to turn.

Colin - a great example of what operators are up against is this reply from the UKGC regarding demo slots:
https://www.casinomeister.com/forums/threads/the-ukgc-and-demo-slots-and-games-official-reply.87283/
You read the first two paragraphs and affiliates are exempt as they don't offer the real-money product themselves, i.e. aren't operators.
Reda further down and it goes on to infer that if the games are sourced from a casino website they are banned, but not if from an alternative source like a developer, then again the developer will likely have a UKGC License and therefore would need to verify lol...

So a woolly reply and it's no wonder operators get things wrong - it seems they've learnt lessons though as most aff programmes have erred on the side of caution and banned UK affs from offering demo games to UK IP's without verification, or simply not at all. Which kinda contradicts the opening paragraphs. That's why at gamingslots we've barred UK IP's.

So this is why I seldom jump down the throat of casinos when they get fines - it must be a complete nightmare for them to interpret some of the regulatory text they are presented with. This then leads to over-caution and we get threads about people being permanently excluded from sites despite their GamStop expiring, possibly another example of casinos being over-zealous when it comes to regulation. Imagine an ex-GamStop player in the Guardian "I excluded for a year via GamStop and 7 days after expiry I lost 2 million quid at 32Red". It's no wonder posters are on here complaining about the way casinos treat them when they believe the axe may fall any minute.
 

colinsunderland

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I don't disagree with what you're saying about the UKGC, however don't agree with your comments about 'out of uk' ones. All they need to do is pay a UK based barrister who specialises in this field and get hos advice. Yes it will cost a few grand, but thats a LOT cheaper than £100's of thousands in fines.

Look back at early threads when I was complaining about affiliate spam, when I was quoting regulations at casinos a good year before any action was taken. I think ONE casino halfheartedly took notice, all the rest couldn't care less. They did a year later when they started seeing 6 figure penalties handed out though. Those rules were there, easy to find and easy to understand, but the casinos decided they didn't have to follow them.

Even the 'void' bet rule is clear. If something is void then the event never took place. Just because some casinos decide void doesn't actually mean void, doesn't mean they are right. I'll bet money on action being taken at some point over the next few years on that point, when the UKGC finally get round to it.
 

EkJR

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This is far from the end of the fines. Watch this space, several others in line for a "chap" from the UKGC.
 
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