The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has been researching and delving deeper into the country’s gambling sector in recent months. In doing so, the regulatory body has already uncovered many risk areas, one of which relates to money laundering. As it stands, there are five online casino operators that are at risk of having their Gambling Commission licences terminated due to this issue.
As a part of its overhaul on the UK gambling industry, the Commission has made sure to write to every licence-holder in relation to this subject. This took place on January 4 and makes reference to licencing condition 12.1. It is this part of the company’s conditions that points directly at the processing of what it deems “illegal funds”. Furthermore, a call for online casino operators to carry out a proper check on players has been called for by Sarah Harrison, the Gambling Commission Chief Executive.
But why now? What has happened to make the regulatory body of the UK look into turning things around in 2018 and onwards?
2017 Year-End Review Reveals Huge Risks
The letter that was sent out by the Commission is all thanks to a year-end review by the company. At the end of 2017, it took an in-depth look into the way that operators are conducting their activities with relation to players using their accounts for illegal procedures. The outcome was somewhat negative throughout the review, but it brought forth a total of 17 platforms that were strongly below standards.
Due to these findings of the Commission, those 17 gambling sites are now under investigation. Meanwhile, five of them are on the tip of losing their all-important gambling licences. The operators have yet to be named by the Gambling Commission, but Ms. Harrison has vowed to take “decisive action” when necessary.
It’s not only money laundering that the company was taken aback by though. The UK’s regulatory body has been implementing many policies and strict rules to ensure that gamblers are kept safe within the industry since 2014. Not only have some smaller operators already lost licences with the Commission, but some others have had to pay massive fines for certain regulatory breaches. It was only recently that top casino brand, 888 had to pay out $7.8 million. And the reason? A failure to protect its vulnerable players.
However, following the 2017 review, the company has vowed to become even more stringent. The gambling sector within the UK may already see its fixed odds gambling machines have their maximum bet possibilities reduced to £2 or so. Online operators are also being forced to do more to ensure that gamblers have access to problem gambling help whenever they need it.