The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has fined Casumo a whopping £6 million over multiple failings.
Last week, the UK’s gambling regulator announced it’s issued a penalty to leading casino operator Casumo, which owns Casumo Casino, after conducting an assessment into the firm’s operations and discovering several social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings.
According to the Gambling Commission’s report, Casumo, which has received an official warning, failed to implement policies and procedures for customer interactions over concerns that a customer’s activity may indicate problem gambling.
The Commission stated that Casumo’s failings led one customer to lose £1.1 million over three years without being subject to a responsible gambling interaction, a second customer to lose £65,000 in one month without being subject to a responsible gambling interaction, and it led a third customer to lose £76,000 over a seven-month period without being subject to a responsible gambling interaction.
Meanwhile, the Commission discovered several anti-money laundering failings. They include allowing customers to deposit large sums of money without being subject to AML checks and conducting “insufficient” source of funds checks as payslips and invoices presented by customers as evidence did not corroborate with bank statements.
What’s more, the Commission states that bank statements produced by customers were not assessed appropriately. Casumo also reportedly failed to conduct adequate checks of documentation, failed to assess or limit how much a customer can spend based on their income, and failed to ensure that its policies and procedures were implemented effectively.
As a result, Casumo has been fined £6 million, has been given an official warning, and it has been imposed with a new licensed condition. Under it, Casumo is required at its own expense to instruct an independent firm of auditors to examine all transactions that have taken place after July 1st, 2020, to ensure that Casumo has effectively implemented responsible gambling policies.
According to Focus GN, Casumo has come forward and stated that the failings occurred between October 2019 and January 2020 when it was in a “start-up phase” and that its issues have since been corrected following the employment of new CEO Shelly Suter-Hadad, who joined the company in 2020.
In a statement, Sutar-Hadad said of the Commission’s report: “Since joining Casumo last year, my focus has been on putting in place a new senior leadership team and Personal Management License holders with extremely strong industry experience and the knowledge and expertise to ensure we are a compliance-led business.
“In addition, recognising that key processes fell short in the past, I took immediate action to implement fundamental operational changes so that Casumo is now a gaming group with compliance and responsible gambling at the heart of its business and culture.”
Richard Watson, the Commission’s Executive Director, said in a statement: “This case was brought about through planned compliance activity and every operator out there should be aware that we will continue to take firm action against those who fail to raise standards.”
The news comes several weeks after the UK Gambling Commission suspended Football Index’s operating license as the company fell into administration. It also comes after the Gambling Commission fined operator In Touch Games £3.4 million and issued it a warning for similar failings regarding marketing, social responsibility, and money laundering.
New Study Claims Gambling Warning Labels Are “Ineffective”
A new study from the University of Warwick and CQUniversity in Australia has found that the warning and informational labels displayed on-screen at online casinos are not effective.
As reported by Gambling Insider, the study analysed over 350 online roulette games at 26 different online gambling operators and found that the majority of labels presented were done so on separate screens and written in the smallest font size.
According to the study, in one out of five instances, acronyms such as RTP were used without providing customers with an explanation of what the acronym means. What’s more, the study found important information was often displayed randomly in large chunks of text and that terms warning customers about average winnings was greatly misunderstood.
The study states that the more than 350 games, around 98.3% of those analysed under the study, did not use the Gambling Commission’s optimal format for warning players about average winnings. The Commission’s format reads: “This game keeps 10% of all money bet on average”, while the commonly misunderstood found format reads: “This game has an average pay-out of 90%”.
Dr Lukasz Walasek of the University of Warwick’s Department of Psychology said in a statement: “It is hard to imagine this information could be less ‘easily available’ than we observed. Even though our objective was to document the regulator’s mandated risk information, we found it rather hard to find these details.”
Dr Philip Newall of CQUniversity added: “Stronger regulations on the prominent provision of understandable risk information are needed to better inform online gamblers as a part of the Government’s upcoming review of online gambling.”
The news comes several weeks after gambling charity GamCare launched a new industry code on the display of safer gambling information. In partnership with the Betting and Gaming Council, GamCare service users and other gambling support services, the new code aims to provide gambling users with easy access to straightforward and well-signposted tools and support services.
Meanwhile, a study from last week found that a majority of the UK general public are in favour of tighter, safer gambling measures, with most backing a £2 limit on slots, a ban on VIP schemes, a new levy on the gambling industry, a new rules requiring casino products to be assessed before launching in the UK.