Online gambling operator BV Gaming Limited, trading as BetVictor, is set to pay a total of £2 million ($2.7 million) in regulatory action after an investigation led by the UK Gambling Commission revealed fairness, social responsibility and money laundering failures.
The operator, which runs a series of sites – betvictor.com, betvictor.mobi, hbingo.co.uk, heartbingo.co.uk and parimatch.co.uk – will pay the money as part of a settlement with the Commission, the UK regulator said on Thursday. The money will go to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
“As a gambling regulator our focus is on ensuring that gambling in Britain is fair, safe and crime-free, and BetVictor failed consumers by breaching rules aimed at achieving these objectives,” said Leanne Oxley, Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement.
Oxley further remarked that non-compliance, no matter what the reason, “will never be a viable business option for gambling businesses,” and warned the UK Gambling Commission “will always be tough” on operators who fail in this way.
BV Gaming Limited, trading as BetVictor, will pay a total of £2m after a Gambling Commission investigation revealed fairness, social responsibility, and money laundering failures. Read more: https://t.co/bIsJKnK8dd pic.twitter.com/EjNEUIOj1Z— Gambling Commission (@GamRegGB) February 24, 2022
The regulatory review conducted by the UK body found failings in BV Gaming’s processes aimed at preventing money laundering and protecting vulnerable people. Further, an unfair term was identified in one promotion whereby the wording suggested a promotion could be canceled or amended by the promoter.
BetVictor was found to inadequately include risk factors such as high spenders or consumers using multiple accounts or wallets, and drawing on a risk assessment that lacked detail considering the large size of the business.
The UK Gambling Commission says “no rationale was provided” on how the risk ratings for the broad areas were arrived at, and the company did not take into account information of the risks of money laundering and terrorist funding made available to them by the UKGC.
There have been several licence revocations and surrenders in recent times. I also made the same point about fines/settlements being seen as a tax. We don't see issues with all operators, but fines have been escalating for those we do see issues with, as well as licence loss.— Andrew Rhodes (@andrewjonrhodes) February 24, 2022
In establishing a penalty, the Commission took into account a series of aggravating factors, such as the serious nature of the breaches identified, the impact on the licensing objectives, the need to encourage compliance among other operators, and the possibility other customers the Commission is not aware of may be affected.
However, the regulator says a few mitigating factors were seen during the process: the extent of steps taken to remedy the breach, including the implementation of an action plan; early recognition of failings; and BV Gaming being co-operative throughout its dealings with the UKGC.
Out of the $2.7 million regulatory settlement, £1.7 million ($2.3 million) are in lieu of a financial penalty, £352,000 ($471,000) in divestment of gross gaming yield gained as a result of the failings, and £11,000 ($14,700) towards the costs of investigation.