LeoVegas Faces £1.2m Fine Over Social Responsibility and AML Failings In The UK
- The UKGC imposed the penalty after uncovering multiple breaches committed by the company
- LeoVegas implemented inadequate gambling controls and set unrealistic spend triggers
- The operator will also undergo an audit for 12 months
LeoVegas has been slapped with a £1.2 million fine by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for failing to adhere to its social responsibility and anti-money laundering obligations.
The regulator decided to impose the massive financial penalty after it found that the Swedish gaming company had not fully complied with rules and regulations aimed at protecting customers.
The breaches, dating back to 2019, include the lack of interaction with customers exhibiting problem gambling behavior, insufficient background checks regarding player funds, and not enough controls to prevent excessive gambling.
According to the UKGC, the financial triggers set by LeoVegas were too high, making them ineffective in managing risks related to money laundering and terrorist financing. The company also failed to implement sufficient controls on gambling spending, allowing some customers to spend huge sums without conducting the necessary checks on where the funds came from. These, among others, constitute violations of the UK’s anti-money laundering rules.
As to its social responsibility obligations, the UKGC said LeoVegas failed to protect players from gambling harm. The operator did not communicate with customers showing signs of gambling harm and implemented improper cool-off periods for players gambling for long durations.
Players who had played for six hours were asked to undergo a 45-minute break, but the company did not provide a clear explanation for the move. Furthermore, the operator had allowed customers to get involved in heavy gambling within a short period of time.
LeoVegas Accused Of Negligence
The UKGC said there was negligence on the part of LeoVegas when it comes to identifying gambling harm indicators, such as long gameplay sessions, late-night or early-morning gambling, cancelled withdrawals, and denied deposits.
Apart from paying a £1.2 million penalty, LeoVegas will also be subject to an audit to ensure that the company observes full compliance with social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules, and effective controls are put in place. The audit, which will run for 12 months, will be carried out by a third-party firm.
UKGC’s Director of Enforcement and Intelligence Leanne Oxley said LeoVegas’ breaches were identified through focused compliance activity. She warned other UK operators to learn their lessons or suffer similar punishments.