Staying Ahead of the Game
Regulation & Compliance in the Gaming Industry
In recent months, the Gambling Commission has issued a number of large fines to operators for breaching regulations and failing to act in a responsible manner towards their customers.
In all of these cases, the companies involved had failed to monitor for and detect vulnerable customers; those gamblers that were potentially staking more than their income and personal circumstances suggested they could afford.
"If there is indeed any reluctance to act, the Gambling Commission’s recent activities would seem to send an important warning sign. It’s time for the industry to get their house in order, or suffer the consequences."
The fines are intended to send a message to the industry that it will be held genuinely accountable for identifying and protecting problem gamblers and that failure to do so will be punished.
Yet behind these fines lies the additional concern that adequate steps have not been taken to ensure criminality is kept out of gambling. It is well known that problem gamblers will occasionally resort to crimes such as theft and embezzlement to fund their spiralling habit. Detecting the problem gambler early will reduce the risk of such criminality. But beyond even that is a more subtle and worrying concern: money laundering. Those attempting to launder their ill-gotten gains will frequently gamble with them, accepting a level of loss as a small price to pay for being able to cleanse the money that remains. The Gambling Commission is making the point in its most recent fines that those controls that are able to identify a problem gambler should also be able to spot gambling for money laundering purposes. Regulated firms are expected to ensure that those controls are in place and effective.