Casino Cosmopol, the Swedish land-based subsidiary of stated-owned Svenska Spel, has fallen foul of the the country’s regulatory body, regarding violations in its efforts to combat money laundering.
Issuing an SEK8m ($880,000) penalty for the series of deficiencies, Lotteriinspektionen’s review “shows that Casino Cosmopol is lacking in its efforts to counter money laundering and terrorist financing in all audited areas. The shortcomings are serious and in many cases of a systematic nature”.
Amongst further significant areas of concern regarding the casino operator, who hosts international venues within the city’s of Sundsvall, Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm, are risk-based routines, business relations and customer awareness measures, obligation to deny transactions and keeping accurate documentation.
Furthermore, it was also detailed that casino activities are difficult to supervise and monitor, particularly “when the camera monitor from the casino’s monitoring is automatically deleted after seven days. As a result, it is not possible to follow the audited customers’ previous visits to the casino”.
Whereas insufficient routines for monitoring and documenting games at slot machines was also highlighted as a cause for concern.
Lotteriinspektionen also challenged Casino Cosmopol’s general risk assessment protocol, which states that only 0.3 per cent of 126,883 unique customers visiting the casinos in the period January 1 – July 31, were considered to be low risk.
It went on to reference one particular customer who had been reported to the Finance Department for suspected money laundering three times in 2016/17, who was considered to be low risk of money laundering, rendering the casino’s risk model “to be of no relevance”.
It was also found that a further customer’s high spending was justified due to the operation of a restaurant operating a profit of 12m Norwegian kronor, with Lotteriinspektionen, in its lengthy example, stating the company should instead be judging spending ability based upon taxable income.
Responding to the penalty, Per Jaldung, CEO of Casino Cosmospol, stated: “Our measures to counter money laundering is an ongoing development which we continuously improve.
“In dialogue with the gaming board, we have stated that we are in the implementation and development phase. We are aware of the improvements that need to be implemented, we have a plan for this and it is a top priority for our business.
“We respect the gaming board’s decisions, but is also somewhat surprising when our view is that we have been transparent, and had a good dialogue about our plan for the fight against money laundering.”
The regulator stated that significant improvements need to be made regarding anti-money laundering measures, should the organisation see its previously submitted licence for the country’s newly-regulated gambling market be approved.