UK Gambling Industry in the News — Weekly Round-up for November 16, 2018

UKGC Slaps Massive Fine On Daub Alderney (Update)

GBP 7.1 Million penalty for AML and social responsibility failings

Stride Gaming subsidiary Daub Alderney has been slapped with a massive GBP 7.1 million penalty by the UK Gambling Commission after a review found failings in anti-money laundering and social responsibility measures. In addition the company will have extra conditions placed on its license to provide gambling to British consumers.

In a separate regulatory notification today (Tuesday), Stride Gaming said: “After careful consideration, the Group has concluded that whilst it believes the UKGC fine to be excessive and disproportionate, it is not in the interests of the Group’s stakeholders to appeal the UKGC’s finding or penalty.”

InfoPowa readers will recall Stride Gaming set aside GBP 4 million back in August in anticipation of the penalty.

“The Board, having taken advice, remains of the belief that a penalty of no more than GBP4 million would be appropriate, particularly as the failings identified by the UKGC were procedural in nature and did not involve any incidence of identifiable money laundering,” the statement reads.

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said: “This action is part of an ongoing investigation into the online casino sector. The operator’s standards did not match the protections required, and this fine reflects the seriousness of these lapses.”

Daub Alderney said subsequent to the UKGC’s initial findings, the failings identified by the UKGC had all been addressed in full.

Nigel Payne, Non-Executive Chairman of the Company:

“Stride Gaming considers that robust anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls are extremely important. It acknowledges and entirely supports the more robust steps taken by the UKGC in recent years to drive improvements across the industry.

“We remain disappointed with the particular circumstances of this case and with certain factual inaccuracies which were presented by UKGC to the Regulatory Panel in the course of the proceedings, which we believe coloured the size of the fine that has been imposed.

“We are of the view that both the industry and its regulator must be as one in its combined attempt to better regulate the industry and accordingly, we will be seeking to engage with the UKGC to improve the robustness of the process that we have just been through.”

UK Govt Brings FOBT Wager Cut Forward (Update)

Bows to Parliamentary pressure

The UK Government’s Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBT) maximum wager limit cut will be brought forward from October 2019 to April 2019, UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright confirmed Wednesday.

The wagering limit cut from GBP 100 to GBP 2 was announced by Philip Hammond during the 2018 Budget at the end of last month (see previous InfoPowa reports) but Government was severely criticised for pushing the implementation of the measure out to October 2019.

Described as a policy U-turn, the move is largely seen as the Government bowing to pressure from over 100 Parliament members and other stakeholders.

“The government has been clear that protecting vulnerable people is the prime concern, but that as a responsible government it is also right to take the needs of those employed by the gambling industry into account and provide time for an orderly transition,” a written statement said.

“Parliament has, however, been clear that they want this change to be made sooner. The government has listened and will now implement the reduction in April 2019.”

A hike in remote gambling tax rates will also be brought forward to April 2019 to cover tax shortfalls from the FOBT limit cut. The rate increases from 15 percent to 21 percent.

William Hill Partners GBS For Global Racing Revamp

Two year deal covers UK online and betting shops, William Hill US and other B2B partners

The BetMakers Holdings Limited (formerly TopBetta) subsidiary Global Betting Services Pty Ltd (GBS) and William Hill Global (WHG) have agreed terms in a new deal that will see the delivery of a global racing solution for William Hill UK, both retail and online and its B2B customers throughout the UK and US.

GBS will provide WHG with key offerings from its global products and services suite, including Premium Price Manager, Racing Data Delivery Services and Tote access, both in the UK and the US market.

Terry Pattinson, group trading director for William Hill Group:

“After a very successful six years of working with GBS under the William Hill Australia brands, William Hill Group Trading is committed to working more closely with The BetMakers as the company pushes towards a worldwide racing trading product.”

“Implementing The BetMakers’ products will allow us to offer an unparalleled global racing product in all racing jurisdictions as we further expand outside the UK, with racing product from Asia, Europe, Australia and importantly North America being a key driver of our expansion.”

Todd Buckingham, CEO of The BetMakers:

“This is a significant milestone for The BetMakers with William Hill having such a big reach across the UK and into the US markets through its B2B customers. We look forward to working with its team to deliver a racing solution that meets its needs and we look forward to delivering innovative products to enhance its offerings and deliver maximum returns.”