Intouch Games has been issued with a third financial penalty in four years by the UK Gambling Commission, which will take the total paid by the group to in excess of £10m.
This latest penalty package, received for social responsibility and money laundering failings, will see the gambling business pay £6.1m, taking its total to £11.7m.
This follows a £2.2m settlement being paid in 2019 for regulatory failures, as well as a £3.4m action and warning in 2021 after a UKGC assessment revealed social responsibility, money laundering and marketing failures.
The regulator noted that Intouch Games, which operates 11 websites including Bonus Boss, Cashmo, Dr Slot, Jammy Monkey and Slot Factory, failed a compliance assessment in March 2022.
Intouch Games’ latest UKGC regulatory action becomes the latest issued this year by the UKGC, following TonyBet being penalised £442,750 and Vivaro, trading as VBet, making payments in lieu of a penalty package of £337,631.
Kay Roberts, Executive Director of Operations, commented: “Considering this operator’s history of failings we expected to see significant improvement when we carried out our planned compliance assessment. Disappointingly, although many improvements had been made, there was still more to do.
“This £6.1m fine shows that we will take escalating enforcement action where failures are repeated and all licensees should be acutely aware of this.”
Among the social responsibility failures comprising this latest action is not interacting with a customer until seven weeks after they had been flagged for interaction for erratic play patterns and extended periods of play.
Furthermore, it was said that the group had accepted a customer’s word that they earned £6,000 a month without verifying this information, after the customer account was flagged due to customer spend and gambling during unsociable hours.
In addition, AML insufficiencies identified include not having policies, procedures and controls in place to address risk factors, and inadequately considering the Commission’s money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment or guidance.
The regulator also said that Intouch Games had not ensured its policies, procedures and controls were implemented effectively. One example cited included not following its own policy to request source of funds information from customers who had deposited and lost £10,000 in a 12-month period.
A final AML issue identified included “not adequately taking account of the risk of a customer being a beneficiary of a life insurance policy; having links to high-risk jurisdictions; or being a politically exposed person, family member of a PEP or known close associates of a PEP, within its money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment”.