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Danish regulator orders Betfair to address AML breaches

| By Robert Fletcher
Denmark’s Spillemyndigheden has ordered Flutter Entertainment-owned Betfair International to address a series of regulatory breaches.

In a decision dated 6 July, Spillemyndigheden said Betfair had breached several sections of the country’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act.

These included Section 7(1) on risk assessment, Section 8(1) for business procedures and Section 8(1) again for controls.

Setting out each breach, Spillemyndigheden said the first order (Order A) was issued due to concerns over its risk assessment. The regulator said Betfair did not assess the individual inherent risks connected to its business model. 

The second order (Order B) was for Betfair’s written business procedures for customer due diligence measures. Spillemyndigheden said this does not sufficiently cover that customer due diligence measures must be performed at the appropriate time in accordance with the requirements of section 10(1)(1) of the AML Act. 

Also on Order B, the regulator said business procedures do not consider how Betfair ensures it is made aware if an employee is convicted of a crime. This, Spillemyndigheden said, could increase the risk of the employee misusing their job for money laundering or terrorist financing.

Finally on Order B, it was stated that the business procedures do not sufficiently describe Betfair’s control measures. This includes how often internal controls are conducted and, in detail, how these controls are directed. 

In terms of Order C, this was in relation to Betfair not having evidence that it has conducted controls with a sufficient frequency. These cover controls for risk management, customer due diligence measures, the obligations to investigate, register and notify, record-keeping, screening of employees and internal controls.

Obligation to act

Spillemyndigheden said each order requires Betfair to take action over the breaches. This will include submitting an updated risk assessment and business procedures, as well as documentation for controls. 

Betfair must address Order A and Order B within three months of the initial notice. However, Spillemyndigheden gave the operator 12 months to submit documentation for compliance with Order C.

In addition to the orders, Spillemyndigheden reprimanded Betfair over its previous written business procedures. Until 16 May, these did not sufficiently cover control of the customers’ identity information. 

However, this reprimand does not cause any obligation to act for Betfair as the breach no longer exists. 

“Spillemyndigheden notes the rules on risk assessment, business procedures and controls are fundamental parts of the AML Act,” Spillemyndigheden said. “Breaches lead to an order or a reprimand or, in serious or repeated cases, they are reported to the police.”

Betfair fined in Sweden

The orders are the latest blow for Betfair in the Nordics region after the operator was fined in Sweden in April.

The SEK4.0m (£289,064/€338,196/$372,592) fine was for Betfair offering betting on football competitions not permitted by national law.

Regulator Spelinspektionen found Betfair offered bets on the U21 Allsvenskan, the youth-level football league. Swedish law only allows wagering on the four highest levels of league football in the country. 

The regulator said betting was available on a total of 148 matches in 2021 and 2022. Some 224 Swedish customers wagered SEK1.1m across 139 games during the period.

Betfair said bets were available on Betfair Exchange, where players are matched against each other to form odds and bets. Betfair said it only takes a commission from these bets.

The operator admitted featuring U21 Allsvenskan games on Betfair Exchange that violated the law regarding the types of competitions players can bet on. It also said a manual process of blocking access to betting on the event failed and as such it was at fault.

Betfair added that it no longer offered betting on U21 Allsvenskan. It also took measures to ensure any wagering on the competition and other lower leagues was blocked in Sweden. 

Spelinspektionen acknowledged the steps that Betfair had taken and its admission of failure. However, having classified the violation as a “serious” breach of gambling laws, the regulator issued the fine and also handed Betfair a formal warning.

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