Last week, the news in the gambling industry of the UK was mainly concerned with different regulatory actions taken to ensure a safer and more fair gambling environment. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) decided to fine two operators due to social responsibility failings.
Another news from last week was related to an FA investigation on a suspicious betting pattern made on Arsenal games. There has been a report of a strangely high number of bets made on an Arsenal player receiving a yellow card. Following the report, FA ensured it will further look into this issue before deciding whether it will launch an official investigation.
UKGC Fines Two Operators After Discovering Social Responsibility Failings
After an investigation on the operations of two businesses, the UKGC discovered that the two companies were having social responsibility failures. Due to these findings, the regulatory body issued fines to both of the investigated operators, with the total sum they will be paying amounting to £1.3 million.
The first company which will be required to pay a fine of £700,557 is Rank Digital Gaming (Alderney) Limited. The company operates the websites bellacasino.com, grosvenorcasino.com, meccabingo.com, and meccagames.com.
According to the UKGC findings, Rank Digital Gaming failed to comply with the Social Responsibility Code imposed by the license they are holding. The failings that were discovered by the regulator were recorded during the period between October 2019 and February 2021.
The company also failed to meet the requirements for customer identification during the period between June 2020 and February 2021. According to a statement issued by the UKGC, Rank Digital Gaming failed to protect individuals who have opted for self-exclusion, with the brand enabling excluded players to register with some of its other brands.
The second operator that was also found to lack compliance with imposed social responsibility and anti-money laundering guidelines is Annexio (Jersey) Limited. The company operates lottogo.com and is required to pay a fine of £835,000 due to its missings.
The failures that were discovered by the regulatory body took place between October 2019 and November 2021. During the said period, Annexio did not comply with the license requirements to properly assess the risks of their business being used as means of money laundering and terrorist financing. The operator did not implement the proper measures to prevent such failures.
There were also findings of Annexio failing to comply with the Social Responsibility Code of the UKGC. The operator failed to recognize customers who may be at risk of gambling harm, communicate with such customers and assess the measures they have taken to approach these individuals.
The UKGC has also discovered that Annexio failed to follow through with the license requirement for operators to report events of great importance to the regulatory body.
The financial penalty that Annexio will have to pay due to its failures amounted to £612,000. According to the regulatory body, the money that will be paid as a settlement by the two operators that are fined will be used to fund the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
FA to Look Into Suspicious Betting Patterns Related to Arsenal Matches
Last week, the FA announced that it will look into a suspicious series of bets that are related to Arsenal matches. The FA investigation followed a huge increase in the bets that were placed on an Arsenal player being carded in the last ten minutes of a match.
The FA shared that it has received several signals concerning betting patterns being connected to an Arsenal player receiving a yellow card during a Premier League match. While the FA has not announced an official investigation, it ensured that it will look into the claims that were reported by bookmakers following the said match.
The bets that sparked the suspicions were placed on the Arsenal player Xhaka to receive a yellow card in the match against Leed United in a face-off in December. While the FA is looking into the suspicious bets, it ensured that there are no suggestions that either Xhaka or any other player of Arsenal have done something wrong.
The bet that aroused suspicions amounted to around £52,000 and was placed late in the match, with the wager being made specifically on the event of Xhaka being booked. Indeed, after the bet was made, the same Arsenal player ended up receiving a yellow card.