Betfred Fined Over Multiple AML and Social Responsibility Failures

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued a £3.25 million ($4.25, current conversion rates) fine to Betfred following an investigation that uncovered a number of social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) violations. The commission noted that the failings in question occurred between January 2021 and December 2022. The UKGC listed Betfred’s shortcomings, noting that the

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued a £3.25 million ($4.25, current conversion rates) fine to Betfred following an investigation that uncovered a number of social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) violations. The commission noted that the failings in question occurred between January 2021 and December 2022.

The UKGC listed Betfred’s shortcomings, noting that the company breached multiple social responsibility rules. For example, the commission noted that Betfred lacked sufficient controls to protect new customers.

The operator did not have the means to properly monitor high-velocity spend and the duration of play, which exposed customers to the risk of substantial losses without safer gambling interaction.

In addition, Betfred was found guilty of making assumptions that customers were not at risk of harm because they were winning customers. As a result, the company failed to carry out a safer gambling interaction with a customer who had wagered £517,499 ($678,306) over two years simply because they were a winning player.

Furthermore, the operator failed to properly evaluate the efficiency of its safer gambling interaction with customers and lacked sufficient record keeping, limiting the effectiveness of future interactions.

In addition to violating its social responsibility responsibilities, Betfred also breached multiple AML rules. The operator notably had poor record keeping and hat set its financial alert thresholds too high.

The gambling company’s know-your-customer efforts were lacking as it sometimes failed to obtain identification and a source of funds document. Finally, Betfred “placed an undue reliance” on open-source information instead of taking extra steps to check customers’ source of funds.

The UKGC Highlighted the Importance of Safer Gambling

The UKGC’s executive director of operations, Kay Roberts, commented on the regulator’s decision. She noted that the focus of the UK gambling industry has been shifting toward online gambling. However, online gambling has proven difficult to properly regulate, highlighting the importance of raising standards across the entire industry.

Kay added that gambling is a leisure that is enjoyed by many but also one that may harm its customers unless proper safeguards are implemented.

Gambling is a legitimate leisure activity enjoyed safely by millions but it is vital that every single operator – either online or offline – has in place effective safeguards to prevent harm or crime.
Kay Roberts, executive director of operations, UKGC

Betfred has 1,750 betting shops across the United Kingdom. The company will pay the money as part of a settlement with the UKGC. The regulator, meanwhile, promised that all of the money will go to socially responsible causes.

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