Betfred receives £2.87m UKGC fine for AML & social responsibility failures


Betfred has received a £2.87m financial penalty after a UK Gambling Commission investigation, undertaken between October 2019 and December 2020, found a series of social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

The operator, which was penalised in October 2019, runs the Betfred and OddsKing online operations in the region, and also received an official warning for failures at the business.

The licensee is said to have cooperated with the Commission throughout the investigation and took immediate corrective steps to address the identified failings. 

Furthermore, the regulator’s review of the specific customers identified during the compliance assessment found no evidence of criminal spend.

“This is a further example of us taking action to investigate and sanction alarming failures,” commented Leanne Oxley, Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement and Intelligence.

“We expect this gambling business and all other licensees to review this case and look closely to see if they need to make further improvements to demonstrate active compliance. Where standards do not improve, tougher enforcement will follow.”

Social responsibility failures included having no controls in place to prevent large levels of high velocity spend, with one individual allowed to lose £70,000 over a 10-hour period one day after opening the account.

Moreover, it was said that safer gambling interaction triggers were said to be too high, and when customers’ spend increased considerably, which the UKGC added can be an indicator of harm, no further timely account review was conducted in a timely manner.

It was discovered that one customer was first interacted with when they had deposited £20,700 and lost £10,200, however, the next interaction did not occur until four months later when the customer had deposited £323,715 and lost £69,371.

AML issues include not fully taking into account the money laundering and terrorist financing risks, and not having appropriate policies, procedures and controls in place to manage and mitigate MLTF issues.

Policies, procedures and controls were also found to not be implemented effectively, with further failings found regarding the implementation of measures described in the money laundering regulation.

The operator was also said to have provided inadequate employee training and had not scrutinised transactions to ensure that they were consistent with their knowledge of the customer and their risk profile, and failed to conduct sufficient AML customer due diligence and source of funds checks.