Last week, there was a couple of news related to the UK Gambling Commission and its regulatory activities. After the former chair of the regulatory body stepped down from his position, Andre Rhodes was selected as the interim chair of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Last week, the new chair of the regulator was finally appointed. Marcus Boyle was announced to be the new chair of the UK Gambling Commission, with his term expected to last five years.
In other news, the regulator took some actions against the gambling operator Daub Alderney. Following an investigation that revealed several anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures, the UKGC imposed a fine of £5.85 million on Daub Alderney. The operator also received a warning after the regulator body assured it will take regulatory actions against operators even if they have breached the Commission’s rules before their ownerships have occurred.
Marcus Boyle Appointed as the New Chair of the UK Gambling Commission
Last week, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced that Marcus Boyle will take the position of the new chair of the UKGC for the next five years. Since Boyle is expected to lead the regulatory body during the review of the 2005 Gambling Act, he has proven to be well-experienced for the position.
Boyle has worked in both the private and public sectors, managing different bodies. His most recent position before he was appointed as the new chair of the UKGC was of a chief operating officer, chief strategy officer, and a board member of Deloitte. This is an industry leader, providing auditing, consulting, tax, and advisory services. The Commission believes Boyle’s past experience will help him guide the regulatory body through the process of setting out new reforms in the Gambling Act Review White Paper.
Boyle’s appointment took effect from 5 September 2021, with Dowden sharing this is a very important step towards the implementation of new regulations that are more fit for the digital era. The total remuneration for the position is estimated to be £55,000 per year. Boyle was appointed to his new position in compliance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. The Code requires the person in that position to declare any political activities but Boyle has not disclosed to be involved in such activities.
The government is considering any reforms in the UK Gambling Commission as a part of the ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act. Boyle’s appointment comes just on time as online regulations and marketing restrictions are an important part of the extensive review of the Gambling Act.
UK Gambling Commission Issues a Warning to Daub Alderney
After the UK’s regulatory body found several failures related to anti-money laundering and social responsibility in Daub Alderney’s operation, the company was required to pay a fine of £5.85 million. The domains owned and operated by Daub Alderney include aspers.com, luckyvip.com, luckypantsbingo.com, kittybingo.com, magicalvegas.com, regalwins.com, and spinandwin.com. In addition to the fine, the operator also received a warning for the failures the regulator has noticed for the period between January 2019 and March 2020.
The social responsibility shortcomings include the operator failing to provide the needed customer interaction tools and policies in cases of indication of problem gambling. One of these events involves a customer who was allowed to lose a total of £43,410 over four months. That was possible even though there were indications of problem gambling. The same customer used four different payment cards in one day and reversed a total of £133,873 of already initiated withdrawals.
As for the anti-money laundering failures, the company failed to implement the appropriate policies and controls in several cases. One customer managed to deposit £50,000 without being asked to provide proof of the source of funds. Meanwhile, another customer was allowed to deposit a total of £41,500 in a single month, without providing a proper source of funds evidence.
The Gambling Commission’s investigation discovered more cases of operational failures, prompting the regulator to impose a fine and issue a warning to Daub Alderney. Helen Venn, Executive Director of the UKGC, warned that the regulatory body will continue to hold every operator accountable for their operational failings. She also added that even if the failures occurred before the company was acquired by another set of investors, the operator should still be responsible for their weaknesses.