The UK Gambling Commission has fined three online casinos a total of £14 million for failing to protect customers.
According to reports, the Commission hit the online casinos with fines after they failed to put in proper safeguards to protect customers. Casumo, Videoslots and Daub Alderney were ordered to pay for the fines, which totalled £14 million, while a fourth casino, CZ Holdings, was banned from providing gambling services in the UK.
In addition to this, nine other online casinos were issued letters about their conduct while the UK Gambling Commission launched an investigation into another six operators. Three of the online casinos have had their licenses revoked.
In a statement, the Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive Neil McArthur said: “I hope today’s announcement will make all online casino operators sit up and pay attention, as our investigations found that a large number of operators and their senior management were not meeting their obligations.
“It is not enough to have policies and procedures in place. Everyone in a gambling business must understand its policies and take responsibility for properly applying them. We expect operators to know their customers and to ask the right questions to make sure they [the operators] meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.”
He added: “Anyone in a position of authority needs to be aware that we will not only act against businesses when we take regulatory action – we will also hold individuals to account where they are responsible for an operator’s failings.”
Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Any online operator that thinks it can ignore its duty to protect players should take note today 0 there will be consequences. Protecting vulnerable consumers is our prime concern, and it must be the priority for gambling operators too.
“There are robust requirements to safeguard players and prevent money-laundering which all businesses must adhere to if they wish to operate in the British market. I am pleased to see the Gambling Commission taking the strongest possible action when companies fail to meet their obligations.”
The news comes amid a crackdown on gambling both online and in real life across the UK. The Church of England, the Labour Party and more have been calling for a ban on the number of gambling advertisements airing before the watershed and during live sporting events.
Just last month, the UK Gambling Commission found that around 90% of all pubs in the UK fail to stop children from gambling on their premises.
Meanwhile, an audit by the Commission discovered that the number of children suffering from a gambling addiction quadrupled over the last two years.