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UKGC fines Genesis Global $5M, issues warning amid social responsibility and AML failures

2022-01-27
United Kingdom
Reading time 2:26 min

The UK Gambling Commission has imposed a £3.8 million ($5 million) fine on Genesis Global Limited, the regulator announced on Thursday. The gambling business runs 14 websites, including genesiscasino.com, casinoplanet.com and casinocruise.com.

“Britain’s gambling industry is being warned that the Commission will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety,” the UKGC stated in a press release. The regulator has also given Genesis Global Limited a warning and told the company it must undergo “further extensive auditing.”

The operator was first suspended from operating in Britain in July 2020 after inquiries revealed significant social responsibility and money laundering failures, explains the Gambling Commission. But three months later, the suspension was lifted following “significant compliance improvements.”

However, the UKGC’s investigation continued since then, until January this year. It has now concluded with a £3.8 million fine, a warning, and an additional license condition “demanding further auditing.”

“All gambling businesses should pay very close attention to this case,” said Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director. “The Commission will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety and that extends to stopping a business from actually operating. Failing to follow rules aimed at keeping gambling safe and crime-free will never be a viable business option for gambling businesses in Britain.”

Genesis Global Limited was found responsible for having incurred a series of social responsibility failures, including not carrying out “any meaningful responsible gaming interactions” with, or placing “any effective restrictions” on the account of a customer who spent £245,000 ($327,900) in three months.

Similarly, the company did not carry out any meaningful responsible gambling interaction or established affordability of a customer who lost £197,000 ($263,700) over six months. The same day the customer closed her account, she was allowed to open another account with the business and deposit £200 ($267).

Lastly, the business did not carry out any meaningful responsible gambling interaction or established affordability of a customer who lost £234,000 ($313,200) in a six week period, the UK Gambling Commission stated.

In terms of AML failures, Genesis Global Limited requested source of funds only after one customer had lost  £209,000 ($279,600): prior to this, Genesis had estimated the customer was earning £111,000 ($148,500) a year because the consumer “has told them they were a director” and this was the average salary of directors in London.

According to the UKGC, the operator failed to take into account the company was dormant and that there would be a wide range of director salaries. Genesis also failed to verify information supplied by the customer to substantiate the level of spend.

A second customer was allowed to deposit over £1,300,000 ($1,700,000) and lose ($802,800) before carrying out sufficient source of funds check. The customer had provided Genesis a bank statement showing deposits to the value of £23,000 ($30,700) and payments out to the value of £27,000 ($36,100), “clearly not enough” to support the level of gambling.

The last AML failure was detected when a customer was allowed to lose £107,000 ($143,100) over six months without carrying out sufficient source of funds checks: Genesis relied on assertion that the money came from an allowance from parents “who owned factories overseas.”

However, the business “failed to verify this information.” While the customer provided a number of bank statements, they “did not evidence” any source of income, but did show transactions “with other gambling operators.”

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