Shortly after paying a massive fine to LeoVegas, UKGC hit bookmakers Smarkets with a six-figure fine over anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
In the UK, betting exchange Smarkets (Malta) Limited now has to pay a £630,000 (US$745,594) fine for multiple social responsibility and anti-money laundering failure.
The UK Gambling Commission revealed its latest punitive measures on Thursday via a press release shared on Twitter:
The London-based betting exchange is required to pay a six-figure sum to allow clients to gamble without running Sufficient Source of Funds (SOF) checks, as well as for failing to identify and deal with clients at risk.
An order to be submitted to a third party audit
UKGC Smarkets has issued an official warning along with an order to provide a third party audit. The regulator said the measure would ensure that Smarkets “effectively implement anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls.”
UKGC is really shooting on all cylinders this month, having already hit LeoVegas with a £1.32 million ($1.6 million) fine. An investigation into the online gambling operator revealed the same top-line failures for which Smarkets had just received a penalty.
According to the UKGC press release, a Smarkets customer who had not previously had a “proper” SOF check deposited £395,000 ($467,283) over four months. UKGC also noted another failure where the client transferred “significant levels of funds between accounts” without audits or SOF checks.
We will take action against gambling operators.”
“This case has been identified through compliance checks and once again highlights how we are taking action against gambling operators who are failing their customers,” said Sarah Gardner, UKGC Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
be harmed by gambling
Gardner added that the UKGC’s investigation into Smarkets revealed multiple failures that put clients at risk of gambling harm. The executive vice president explained that the violations were a combination of “bad systems and processes” combined with Smarket’s failure to enforce controls and policies.
The UKGC also stated, however, that Smarkets had cooperated with its investigation and had “taken corrective steps to address the identified failures”. It added that its review of clients identified during the compliance assessment “found no evidence of criminal spending with the licensee.”
According to the Smarkets website, the betting exchange allows its clients to “come back and get the best betting odds and the lowest commission on all major sports and politics.”