Legal & compliance

Gambling Commission raps five casinos for social responsibility failings

| By Daniel O'Boyle
The British Gambling Commission has agreed regulatory settlements with four brick-and-mortar casinos, and fined another, after uncovering social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings at each venue.

A&S Leisure Group, which operates Napoleons Casinos, is the sole operator to be fined. It has been ordered to pay £377,340, and has been given a warning by the regulator.

Shaftesbury Casino and Clockfair Limited – which operates Broadway Casino in Birmingham – will both pay £260,000 regulatory settlements. 

Les Croupiers Casino in Cardiff has agreed a £202,500 settlement, while Double Diamond Gaming, operator of Birmingham’s Rainbow Casino, is required to pay a £247,000 settlement. 

Each casino was found to have breached breached Social Responsibility Code provision 3.4.1. This requires licensees to implement policies and procedures for customer interaction when a player’s behaviour indicates problem gambling.

All of the five casinos were also found to be in breach of Licence Code provision 12.1.1, which requires businesses to conduct effective anti-money laundering risk assessments.

The Commission conducted a review into all five licences in October 2019.

The review into Shaftesbury found failings including a customer who incurred losses of £219,788.52 between 2013 and 2019, with no responsible gambling interactions recorded on their profile.

This customer requested an increase to their debit limit twice which was approved by Shaftesbury without affordability assessments being carried out.

Another customer incurred losses of £205,714.04 between 2017 and 2019, without a responsible gaming interaction.

Shaftesbury’s anti-money laundering failings included only performing open source checks for a customer that deposited £2m, rather than establishing their source of funds. Another customer who deposited £631,520 was allowed to gamble despite failing to give evidence of the source of their funds.

Clockfair’s social responsibility failings included a customer who was unable to provide evidence of ownership of business it was understood he owned, as he said the business was in relatives’ names to avoid losing the business through gambling. This customer only faced one interaction.

Its AML failings included learning through open source checks that a customer who lost more than £360,000 was a director of businesses that lost more than £100,000 in the previous year, but allowing this customer to continue to gamble.

Les Croupier’s failings included a 22-year-old who lost around £20,000 within six months. The Commission said the operator assumed they could sustain these losses as the customer was a director of a company.

Another customer was set a daily loss limit of £6,000 and a monthly loss limit of £20,000, after showing bank statements with £19,000 paid in in a month and a closing balance of less than £5,000.

A&S’s failings were not detailed, but the Commission noted it “co-operated with the investigation and made no attempt to conceal the failure or breach following the Commission’s engagement.”

A Double Diamond customer was found to have lost £46,000 before the operator suspended their account  for failing to provide documents showing proof of funds. While this customer received an interaction, the Commission said there was no evidence they received responsible gambling information or advice.

Another customer, with a turnover of £152,155, was allowed to visit the casino on 90 occasions after failing to provide information about their source of funds.

All of the licensees have agreed to review and update their AML and social responsibility policies. Double Diamond has also agreed to only allow customers that register as members to gamble in the property.

Last week, the Commission fined fined online operator Casumo £6m for anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility failings, including allowing a player to lose £1.1m without a responsible gambling interaction.

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