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LeoVegas slammed with £1.2m fine over regulation violations

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has recently announced a hefty fine of £1.32 million (US$1.6 million) against online gambling provider, LeoVegas, over failure to adhere to its regulations bordering on anti-money laundering and social gaming responsibility rules.

In 2018 the operator was fined by the UKGC for violating advertising and marketing regulations, a year ago it was fined by the Spelinspektionen (Sweden’s regulator), and was also penalized in Denmark.

This time, the sanction is coming from the operator’s failings to keep to rules between October 2019 to October 2020. As part of investigations, the UKGC asked LeoVegas to bring in a third-party auditor to review its books and submit to them for further action. The audit period spans 12 months.

Within this period, the regulatory umpire discovered anti-money laundering failures and social responsibility. Upon further investigations, the Commission discovered that spend triggers were set significantly higher than the average customers spend without the operator offering a relevant explanation.

LeoVegas didn’t care to know the source of the money customers are gambling with and if that sits well with them financially.

Moreso, UKGC discovered that gamblers were given a 45-minute break after six hours of gambling activities. Again, the regulator faults LeoVegas as it couldn’t offer good explanations as to how it measured that after only six hours of play one could have a gambling problem.

Speaking on the development, Leanne Oxley, Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement and Intelligence, said:
“We identified this through focused compliance activity and we will continue to take action against other operators if they do not learn the lessons our enforcement work is providing.

“This case is a further example of operators failing to protect customers and failing to be alive to money laundering risks within their business.”

Among other violations of LeoVegas include, the lack of interaction with customers found to have gambling addictions, and setting unreasonably high AML trigger thresholds.

The UKGC is known in the gaming industry to be a strong and strict regulator. It usually slams anti-money laundering violations with heavy fines. It has fined several gaming operators for violating AML rules, including 888, which received a £9.4-million (US$11.41 million) fine in March.

The operator runs several other related businesses in the UK leovegas.com, slotboss.co.uk, pinkcasino.co.uk, betuk.com, and 21.co.uk.

In addition to the hefty financial penalty, LeoVegas will receive an official warning.
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