TonyBet to pay £442,750 UKGC penalty for failure to be ‘fair & open’

Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission has pulled the trigger on a second penalty package of the year, with TonyBet to pay $442,750 following a slew of similar high profile actions being undertaken last year and first action of 2023 being disclosed against Vivaro yesterday.

This latest action, which was complemented by a warning, was issued for a failure to disclose fair and transparent terms, in addition to social responsibility and anti-money laundering shortcomings.

Online sports betting and igaming operator TonyBet will also be required to undergo a third-party audit to assess whether it is effectively implementing such requirements.

The regulator detailed that unfair terms published on the group’s website include stating that winnings could be confiscated where consumers failed to provide AML documentation within 30 days.

It was also discovered that TonyBet may request identification documents for all withdrawals, while not having insisted on those same checks earlier in the business relationship, which it was said could potentially hamper withdrawals but not deposits

TonyBet may also request identification documents for “all withdrawals” despite not having insisted on those same checks earlier in the business relationship, which the UK noted could potentially hamper withdrawals but not deposits.

Furthermore, it was also found that accounts could be considered dormant after six months of inactivity, when this can only be the case after 12 months.

In addition, social responsibility shortcoming identified included failing to identify customers who may be at risk of experiencing harms associated with gambling, as well as not interacting with those that may be at risk of experiencing such harms.

On the AML front, it is said that TonyBet failed to conduct adequate risk assessments of the business being used for money laundering and terrorist financing. It is added that the business did not ensure appropriate policies, procedures and controls were in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

Kay Roberts, Executive Director of Operations, said: “Not only does this case illustrate our drive to clamp down on anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures, but also highlights action we will take against gambling businesses who fail to be fair and open with customers.”

Yesterday, it was revealed that Vivaro, trading as VBet, is to make payments in lieu of a penalty package of £337,631 after a UKGC investigation discovered “a series of failings”.

Firstly, the investigation, and subsequent regulatory review, found failings in Vivaro’s implementation of anti-money laundering policies, procedures and controls.

The regulator also stated that deficiencies in responsible gambling policies, procedures, controls and practices, including weaknesses in implementation, were also uncovered.