Gambling Compliance tracker GamblingIndustryFines.com has tracked over £44m in gaming operator fines in 2020 - a significant rise over 2019 where just over £16m in fines were issued to online casino and sports-betting companies.
Anti Money-Laundering failures, social responsibility failures, shortcomings in responsible gambling policies (including source-of wealth checks), and offering customers unauthorized financial incentives were among the issues identified with regulators with gambling companies punished with fines.
2020’s fine recipients were based in Malta, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia - with fines from the Malta Gaming Authority, Sweden's Spelinspektionen, the UK Gambling Commission, and in Australia via the NSW Liquor & Gaming Agency.
The first fine of the year was issued in January by the Malta Gaming Authority - a £2M fine levied on Blackrock Media for "servicing unauthorized transactions".
The largest fine of the first quarter went to Kindred Group - when Spooniker Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kindred Group received a warning and a sanction fee in the sum of SEK 100 million (USD 9,5m/£8.5m) by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) for offering customers financial incentives which are in breach of the new gambling Legislation.
Major fines towards the end of the Year included Caeser’s Entertainment UK which received sanctions totaling £13,000,000, BGO Entertainment which was levied with £2,000,000 fine due to social responsibility and anti-money-laundering control failures, and NetBet - which was fined £748,000 after regulator finds inadequate AML controls and significant shortcomings for its responsible gambling policies and procedures.
It is clear to see from the increase in fines & regulations that governments and regulators continue to show that they are serious about protecting at-risk players, and stamping out fraud and money laundering in the gambling industry.