Tete-a-Tete Casino warned over AML failings in Lithuania

| By Robert Fletcher
Lithuania’s Gambling Supervisory Authority has issued a warning to online gaming operator Tete-a-Tete Casino after identifying a series of failings related to anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing prevention.
Baltic Bet breaches Lithuanian promotion rules

Following an investigation of the operator, the regulator said Tete-a-Tete Casino was not complying with all relevant laws in the country.

Tete-a-Tete Casino was ruled to have breached Part 4 of Article 19 of Lithuania’s Law on the Prevention of Funding by failing to check the nationality of customers who deposited more than €1,000 (£846/$1,021) or the equivalent amount in another currency.

During the investigated period, between 31 December 2019 and 22 April 2022, the operator also did not record the time of the deposit, nor the currency in which the customer made the deposit. This, the regulator said, was also in breach of the same law.

In addition, the regulator said Tete-a-Tete Casino did not record or collect information on customers who made suspicious monetary transactions, including the currency in which these transactions were made. 

Meanwhile, the regulator also ruled Tete-a-Tete Casino breached certain laws after it failed to include internal control procedures related to customer risk management, the storage of information and relevant employee training in its AML and terrorist financing prevention processes.

The authority said that the operator did not have sufficient measures in place between 29 December 2019 and 8 November 2021 and as such was in breach of national law related to AML and terrorist financing prevention.

Ruling on the two breaches, the authority said Tete-a-Tete Casino’s failure to properly check and record information on transactions in excess of €1,000 was considered a “minor violation” and did not warrant further action at this time.

However, the authority added that if this issue were to continue, it could take action in the future.

Regarding its failure to include certain procedures in AML and terrorist financing prevention processes, the regulator issued a warning to Tete-a-Tete Casino.

Tete-a-Tete Casino has been flagged a number of occasions in recent months for breaching rules and regulations in Lithuania.

Last week, the operator was fined €15,000 for allowing players located outside Lithuania to gamble through its website remotely. Tete-a-Tete Casino was also warned that its licence could be suspended if it does not put in place the relevant processes to halt such activity in the future. 

In May, Tete-a-Tete Casino was also fined €25,000 after it was found to have published promotional slogans on its CBet.lt website, with the aim of advertising online slot games to players in Lithuania.

Incidentally, Tete-a-Tete Casino in March 2021 became the first operator to be fined under new regulations in Lithuania for unreasonably setting betting limits on an online customer. The operator was fined €15,000 for the rule breach.

This week, the authority also announced that gambling revenue in Lithuania increased 66.0% year-on-year in the first half of 2022 as customers returned to land-based venues following the removal of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions.

Gross revenue for the six-month period amounted to €89.3m, up from €53.8m in the previous year when strict Covid-19 measures meant casinos, slot machine parlours and betting and totalisator points could not open or operate.

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