Casumo Hit with £6m Fine by the Gambling Commission
By Simon Wright Mar 25, 2021
Subsequently Casumo have been fined £6m and will now undergo an extensive auditing process, following an investigation undertaken by the UKGC which found social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
The action taken by the UKGC against Casumo is the second such penalty meted out to the operator, as back in 2018 they were hit with a £5.85 penalty package by the UKGC, again for identified failings in systems designed to prevent money-laundering and protect problem gamblers.
The decision and actions against Casumo by the UK regulator announced today and which was made at the beginning of the month, could go some way as to explain why several members of the Casinomeister forum have had to endure painful ‘Source of Wealth’ checks when cashing out at the online casino.
The Gambling Commission have cited the following areas whereby Casumo’s Social Responsibility procedures fell short of what is required of maintaining their UK licence:
- One customer losing £1.1m over three years without being subject to a responsible gambling interaction.
- A second customer losing £65,000 in one month without being subject to a responsible gambling interaction.
- A third customer losing £76,000 over seven months without being subject to a responsible gambling interaction.
Additionally, Casumo failed to take into account the UKGC’s guidance on customer interaction, and this resulted in:
- The operator not carrying out a responsible gambling interaction on a customer who lost £89,000 in a five hour period.
- The operator not carrying out a responsible gambling interaction on a customer who lost £59,000 in a 90 minute period.
Anti-Money Laundering Failures
Identified failures in performing robust anti-money laundering procedures and systems included the following:
- Customers were allowed to deposit significant sums of money without sufficient AML checks being conducted.
- Source of Funds (SOF) checks were insufficient. Payslips and invoices presented as evidence of SOF were not corroborated with bank statements (or other evidence).
- Bank statements produced were not assessed appropriately. Examples include incomplete bank statements which only showed credits into the customer’s account. The balance figures on a customer’s bank statement had been redacted.
- Inadequate checks of documentation for authenticity.
- No assessment or limit of how much a customer should be allowed to spend based on known income, wealth or any other risk factors.
- Winnings from other gambling operators were accepted as SOF, without further investigation.
- Not ensuring that its policies, procedures and controls were implemented effectively, kept under review, revised appropriately to ensure that they remain effective and take into account any applicable learning or guidelines published by the Commission from time to time.
As well as having to pay a £6m fine, Casumo have also been instructed to appoint at their own expense a firm of independent auditors to carry out an audit to examine transactions that have taken place post 1 July 2020 to ensure that it has effectively implemented its new policies, procedures and controls. Furthermore, the operator also needs to ensure it is compliant with the Licence Conditions and Code of Practice.
Speaking about today’s announced action against Casumo, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission Richard Watson stated: “This case was brought about through planned compliance activity and every operator out there should be aware that we will continue to take firm action against those who fail to raise standards.”