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Videoslots punished in Sweden over “serious” AML failures

| By Richard Mulligan
Videoslots has been issued with a SEK9m (£663,575/€760,000/$808,809) penalty fine in Sweden over breaches of anti-money laundering (AML) and financing of terrorism laws.
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The Malta-headquartered gambling group was found to have not met customer knowledge requirements in an investigation conducted by Spelinspektionen, the Swedish gaming authority. Videoslots’ failures were adjudged to be “serious and systematic”.

The regulator issued a SEK9m penalty fine and a warning. However, it was decided that the group would not be stripped of its licence.

Spelinspektionen’s investigation found shortcomings in Videoslots’ AML protocols with 10 of its largest customers between 2019 and 2021. The 10 were randomly selected from among those who made the most deposits and deposited the largest total amount. The regulator studied the group’s actions concerning the 10 and found a failure to account for discrepancies between income and gambling transactions.

Among them was a customer who deposited more than SEK5m during the two-year period despite 2018 income of just SEK57,000. The player was able to deposit and withdraw vast sums of money for two years after an initial risk was observed.

Videoslots’ defence

Videoslots argued that that the audited customers do not represent the high level of compliance that it works to achieve. It also stated that the purpose of the AML rules is mainly to report suspicious activity to financial intelligence units. However, Spelinspektionen responded that the business itself has a duty to detect and deter suspicious activity.

Spelinspektionen ruled that Videoslots was in breach of numerous sections of the Money Laundering Act. This included a failure to take adequate enhanced customer awareness measures quickly enough. It also did not document and preserve data regarding enhanced customer awareness measures.

Videoslots did not actively facilitate investigation

The regulator accepted that Videoslots had committed to improvements in the wake of the investigation. However, it also noted that while Videoslots was cooperative it did not actively facilitate the investigation.  

Videoslots is also licensed in Malta, Great Britain, Denmark, Italy and Spain.

“Videoslots has not worked sufficiently proactively and risk-based to be able to ensure that customer knowledge is up to date and sufficient to be able to assess and counter the risk of the company being used for money laundering and financing of terrorism,” read Spelinspektionen’s decision.

“The Authority’s assessment is that Videoslots’ customer knowledge regarding all of the audited customers has been insufficient. Videoslots would therefore not have maintained the business relationship or performed individual transactions regarding these customers.”

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