White Hat Gaming Fined £1.3M For AML And Safer Gambling Failings

White Hat Gaming

Leading casino operator White Hat Gaming has been fined a £1.3 million penalty for several policy failings.

According to reports, the UK Gambling Commission imposed the fine this week after launching an investigation into the operator’s handling of seven customer accounts. Under the investigation, the UKGC discovered failings in White Hat Gaming’s anti-money laundering and safer gambling procedures.

The investigation found that the operator failed to identify and aid customers who were at risk of money laundering and developing gambling-related harm. White Hat Gaming also reportedly failed to establish the source of funds of a customer who lost £70,000 over a period of three months, failed to interact with a customer who lost £50,000 in six hours, and failed to aid another customer who lost £85,000 within an hour.

According to the UK Gambling Commission’s report, the failings were identified on White Hat Gaming’s Grand Ivy, 21 Casino, Hello Casino, and Dream Vegas brands.

In addition to having to pay a £1.3 regulatory settlement which will be directed towards delivering the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, White Hat Gaming has promised an ongoing programme of improvements to strengthen its policies and procedures under the UKGC’s regulations.

The UK Gambling Commission noted in its report that White Hat Gaming cooperated with its enquiries throughout the investigation and accepted that its policies regarding anti-money laundering and safer gambling “were not adequate”. It also accepted failing to act in accordance with its license conditions between the period of October 2016 and March 2019.

Richard Watson, the Executive Director at the UKGC, said in a statement: “Through our tough compliance and enforcement activity, we will continue our work to raise standards in the industry and continue to hold failing operators to account.”

The news comes after Videoslots was penalised for failing to follow Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen’s SEK 5,000 deposit limits, a controversial rule which was implemented in July 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

French Regulator ANJ Details Licensing Requirements

Meanwhile, French gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has this week published details regarding its licensing requirements which gambling operators within the country must fulfil.

According to FocusGN, the document explains the requirements all operators looking to acquire a license must follow. The requirements cover operators offering sports betting, lottery, poker, and horse betting too.

The document also includes details on procedures on dealing with players and safer gambling commitments. This includes mandatory identity checks, payment thresholds for customers, and a requirement for operators to monitor all player accounts.

Finally, there are requirements for the collection, monitoring, storage, and security of data. Operators must agree that the ANJ can be granted remote access to data across all verticals and operators offering sports betting services must archive data on player bets and maintain historic data on a customer’s winning bets and cancellations.

The ANJ has submitted its technical requirements to the European Council for competitive approval.

New Casino Game Developer Agreements

The above news comes in the same week that both game developers Microgaming and Yggdrasil have announced new content partnerships.

On Wednesday, Microgaming announced a partnership with PearFiction Studios, an independent game developer based in Montreal. Under the partnership, PearFiction Studios will develop new casino games specifically for Microgaming who will in turn supply the games to its partnered casino operators.

The first game to release under the partnership will be Chicago Gold with a release date of February 4th. The game, which has been described as highly-volatile, will include numerous special features and a jackpot mechanic. The title will be followed by prehistoric slot Blazing Mammoth.

Microgaming previously worked with PearFiction Studios on a one-off collaboration on punk rock slot Smashing Biscuit which proved to be a huge success for both game developers.

PearFiction Studios CEO Thierry Semoff said in a statement: “When an industry pioneer like Microgaming wants you on board, it’s a real recognition that the games you’re creating are good and that all your hard work is paying off.

Andrew Booth, the Director of Games at Microgaming, added: “PearFiction Studios are proven innovators who marry great artwork with technical insights, game performance and a huge sense of fun.”

Meanwhile, developer Yggdrasil has announced its launch into Hungary via a new content partnership with casino operator CasinoWin, one of the only 11 casino operators allowed to offer casino content in the country.

Under the partnership, Yggdrasil will provide CasinoWin with its entire portfolio of casino games as well as all games through the developer’s YG Masters program. Some of the games available via the content agreement include Holmes And The Stolen Stones, MultiFly, Vikings Go Berserk, Wolf Hunters, Cazino Cosmos, Brazil Bomba, Valley Of The Gods, Vault Of Fortune, and plenty more.

The brand new partnership comes as Yggdrasil looks to extend its player reach across the world. The agreement also comes after the developer’s launch in the Swiss market last month.

Speaking about the new agreement, Yggdrasil’s Chief of Global Market Operations Björn Krantz said: “We are focused on further expanding our reach in regulated markets this year and providing our thrilling content to even more players.

“Entering Hungary is a great achievement for Yggdrasil and CasinoWin is a well-known and respected brand in the market, making them a perfect partner. We are excited to introduce our content to its growing player base.”

Zsolt Kruppa, the Managing Director at CasinoWin, added: “Yggdrasil’s content is known for its high-quality and exciting game play and the slots portfolio is extremely diverse, offering something for all player types.

“We are thrilled to be the first operator in the country to offer their titles, and we are sure the content will be a hit with our customers.”