The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has continued its recent campaign of enforcement actions by imposing tough conditions on a well-known licensee.
Bookmaker Boylesports will face a series of new conditions as part of its operating licence following the conclusion of a UKGC investigation. The investigation uncovered a number of failures relating to money laundering at the bookmaker.
According to the regulator, the company, which operates under the name Boylesports Enterprise was found to be in breach of Commission rules that were aimed at preventing and protecting against money laundering through both its Boylesports.com and Boylecasino.com websites.
The investigation by the UKGC, which is part of the regulator’s ongoing efforts to raise standards across the UK gambling industry found that the Ireland-based operator had failed to set up an appropriate money laundering risk assessment process. In addition, the regulator found that the company’s anti-money laundering policies, controls and procedures were not unsuitable and that ats a result, they could not be implemented effectively. There were also some failures to comply with aspects of the money laundering regulations.
As a result, the regulator will now apply new licence conditions to Boylesports Enterprise. These will include the necessity of appointing a fully qualified Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) who holds the necessary licence. In addition, the MLRO will be required to take annual refresher training in the area of Anti Money Laundering (AML) which must be demonstrated to the UKGC.
The regulator will also required that all licence holders, along with key control staff and senior managers should receive anti-money laundering training, subject to annual refresher training. These measures are to be alongside the company’s ongoing review into the implementation and effectiveness of its AML policies and procedures.
Significantly, the UKGC handed out both an official warning and a £2.8 million fine to Boylesports Enterprises. Speaking about the findings of the investigation, Executive Director Richard Watson said that AML efforts were an essential part of a safe gambling sector:
“It is vital that all gambling businesses have effective anti-money laundering policies and procedures firmly in place and as part of our ongoing drive to raise standards we will continue to take tough action against operators who do not.”
The tough enforcement action comes at a time when the UKGC is under fire from politicians for a perceived failure to improve standards in the UK gambling sector and in the run up to a long-trailed review of the 2005 Gambling Act by the UK government.