The UK Gambling Commission has slapped online casino operator Casumo with a £6 million fine for a series of historic social responsibility and anti-money laundering deficiencies.
In addition to the hefty fine, the second seven-figure one received by the company in the UK in less than three years, Casumo will also have to undergo and pay for extensive independent auditing. The firm further received an official warning, meaning that any future violations could see it have its license revoked by the Gambling Commission.
The penalty was issued in relation to breaches of local codes and regulations that the UK gambling watchdog identified from an audit conducted between October 2019 and early January 2020.
The social responsibility violations discovered by the regulatory agency included not implementing policies and procedures for interaction with customers whose activity and wagering patterns might have indicated problem gambling.
According to the regulator, the lack of such procedures resulted in one gambler losing more than £1.1 million over a three-year period, another one losing £65,000 within a single month, and a third one gambling away £76,000 over seven months. Responsible gambling communication never happened between Casumo and the three customers, it became known.
The operator also failed to take into account the Gambling Commission’s customer interaction and social responsibility guidance and reach out to a customer who lost £89,000 in a five-hour period and another player who lost £59,000 within 90 minutes.
AML Violations Detected
The Gambling Commission also highlighted a number of anti-money laundering breaches in its probe into Casumo’s activities. These violations included multiple customers being allowed to deposit large amounts of money without being subjected to thorough AML checks.
In addition, the regulator discovered instances of insufficient checks of source of funds and of bank statements produced by players not being assessed in a proper manner.
There were also inadequate checks of ID documentation and no caps on how much a customer should be allowed to deposit and spend based on their known income. Casumo was also found to have failed to ensure that its AML policies, controls, and procedures were implemented in an effective manner, kept under review and revised where appropriate to ensure they would always remain effective.
The operator said that it cooperated fully with the Gambling Commission and that steps have been taken to address the issues highlighted by the regulator.
Casumo’s CEO Shelly Suter-Hadad played a key role in the implementation of stricter controls. She was brought on board in January 2020 for her wealth of experience in building compliance-led gambling businesses.
Following an additional review by the UK regulator in July 2020, it confirmed that under Ms. Suter-Hadad’s stewardship, there was a fundamental shift in Casumo’s AML and social responsibility process, policies, and controls.
In late 2018, the operator was hit with a £5.85 million fine in the UK over similar regulatory failings.
Source: Gambling Commission fines Casumo £6m amid player interaction failings, iGamingBusiness, March 25, 2021