Last week, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) took regulatory actions against two businesses due to social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. The two businesses that were penalised were Jumpman Gaming Limited and Progress Play Limites. Due to their operational failures, the total amount they will need to pay as a financial penalty amounted to £675,000.
Another regulatory action was taken against Goldchip Limited which had its licence suspended while the UKGC is carrying out a review of the operator. As there were some concerns about Goldchip operating without following the Gambling Act, the Commission is yet to determine whether the business can keep its operational licence.
Last week, the UKGC also published further data on the effects the global pandemic had on gambling behaviour among British players. The data was collected by Licensed Betting Operators (LBOs), which were operating on the high streets of Britain.
UKGC Takes Regulatory Actions Against Several Businesses in the UK
Last week, the UK’s gambling regulator took gambling actions against two businesses due to similar operational failures. The said companies were Jumpman Gaming Limited and Progress Play Limited. The former is operating a total of 243 websites, while the latter runs 201 websites.
The total amount that the two businesses are obligated to pay the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms amounted to £675,000, with Jumpman Gaming Limited required to pay £500,00 and Progress Play imposed a fine of £175,718. The regulatory actions taken against the two companies resulted from an investigation of the UKGC, which revealed both businesses experiencing social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
The key failing revealed in the operations of Jumpman Gaming Limited included a breach of licence condition requiring taking specific measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. The business also did not abide by the licence condition of taking anti-money laundering measures for foreign operators. The third failure of the company was revealed to be non-compliance with social responsibility codes and customer interaction requirements.
The UKGC investigation on Progress Play Limited revealed anti-money laundering failures, with the company not following the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing licence condition. It was also discovered that the gambling business was not implementing anti-money laundering measures for foreign operators. Additionally, the investigation exposed that Progress Play Limited also did not comply with social responsibility codes and customer interaction requirements.
UKGC Suspends Goldchip Limited Licence Due to Operational Failures
Last week, the UKGC also took another major regulatory action against Goldchip Limited. Under section 116 of the Gambling Act 2005, the regulator reviewed the operations of the said business. Due to concerns about several operational failures, the company’s licence was suspended.
The gambling regulator had some doubts about Goldchip Limited not abiding by the licence conditions and was in breach of the Gambling Act. As the UKGC suspected the business of social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures, it decided to suspend Goldchip Limited’s licence and will further decide whether the business is suitable to continue its operations.
The UKGC warned the company that during the period of its licence suspension, it is required to focus on providing fair treatment to its customers and keep them informed about any future developments that may affect them. While the suspicion was in effect immediately, the company is still allowing its patrons access to their accounts and is not permitted to deny the customers’ withdrawal requests.
Gambling Regulator Reveals Further Details on Pandemic’s Effect on Gambling Behaviour
Last week, the UKGC published additional data to further reveal the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling behaviour in the UK. The details that were revealed by the regulator cover the period between March 2020 and March 2022, showing information about in-person and online gambling. The data for the said period was collected by LBOs in Britain.
The UKGC warned about being careful when making year-over-year comparisons between some months as the operating circumstances during the last two years have been different at certain periods.
The updated data revealed that total GGY on online gambling reached £1.2 billion in Q4, marking a 1% decrease from Q3. The number of active accounts surged 5%, while the number of total bets/spins decreased 2% during Q4.
Slots GGY dropped 5% to almost £541 million from Q3 to Q4. The number of spins also decreased to 17.9 billion, marking a 2% from Q3. The number of average monthly active accounts in Q4, however, increased 5%, reaching 3 million per month.
Online slots sessions that lasted more than an hour declined 2% in Q4, declining to 7.9 million. The average time for gaming sessions was 18 minutes, with almost 7% of all sessions going for longer than an hour. LBO GGY for Q4 marked a 3% growth, amounting to £551 million. Meanwhile, the number of total bets/spins declined to 3.2 billion.
The UKGC shared its expectations towards gambling operators who are required to continue abiding by the strengthened guidance that was published during the first lockdown. Businesses should track gambling behaviour among their customers, ensure direct interaction when specific triggers are reached and avoid taking advantage of the current situation. Operators must also take care of their new customers and act accordingly to the affordability checks they imply. The UKGC warned that it will continue to monitor the gambling sector and take regulatory actions when it is necessary.