Bet365 Fined £582,120 for Regulatory Breaches

bet365 online casinoBet365, a leading online gambling company, has been handed a substantial fine of £582,120 by regulatory authorities for failing to adhere to anti-money laundering and social responsibility measures. The fine is a culmination of identified failings in the company’s online bingo and casino products, as well as its betting services, which are licensed under Hillside (UK Gaming) ENC and Hillside (UK Sports) ENC respectively.

Breakdown of the Fine

gambling fineThe breakdown of the fine sees Hillside (UK Gaming) ENC, responsible for Bet365’s bingo and casino offerings, paying £343,035, while Hillside (UK Sports) ENC, overseeing the betting services, will contribute £239,085. The total sum is earmarked for donation to socially responsible causes, aligning with the regulatory settlement terms set by the Commission.

These findings stem from a compliance assessment conducted by the Commission in March 2022, which brought to light several critical areas of failure within Bet365’s operations.

Identified Failures and Their Impacts

On the social responsibility front, the company was criticized for:

  • Non-specific customer interactions: Communications did not consider the individual customer journey or the spectrum of harm, leading to ineffective interactions.
  • Ineffective Early Risk Detection System: The system failed to effectively monitor customer behavior post-interaction.
  • Inadequate evaluative processes: There was a lack of effective measures to determine whether customers comprehended the information or advice given.

From an anti-money laundering perspective, Bet365 faced criticism for:

  • Ineffective customer due diligence and “know your customer” processes: These did not adequately manage the risk of money laundering. Only online casinos outside Gamstop and UKGC jurisdiction may have a simplified KYC procedure.
  • Failure to perform financial sanctions checks on new customers before their first deposits.
  • Over-reliance on annual self-verification by customers for critical “know your customer” information.
  • Lack of detailed procedure documents for accurately profiling customers at risk.

A Call for Maintained Standards

Kay Roberts, the Executive Director of Operations, underscored the importance of upholding industry standards,

“The policy and procedural failings may not have been as severe as those at other gambling businesses in recent years but they were failings nonetheless. We expect high standards from operators in terms of keeping gambling safe, fair, and crime-free, and will always take action to correct any failings. This operator is very aware that a repeat of these failings will result in escalating regulatory action.”

Bet365, while accepting the fine, has not publicly responded to the specifics of the failings or outlined measures to prevent future breaches. This event serves as a reminder to the gambling industry at large of the critical importance of adhering to regulatory standards to protect customers and prevent financial crimes.