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Regulation

Gamesys Fined £6M by UK Gambling Commission for Compliance Failings

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UK Gambling Commission Levies £6M Fine Against Gamesys for Regulatory Breaches

The UK Gambling Commission has imposed a significant £6 million fine on the online gaming operator Gamesys for a series of social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) failings. This action underscores the regulator’s commitment to ensuring fair, safe, and crime-free gambling practices.

Comprehensive Audit and Operational Failures

Identified during a compliance assessment in May 2022, these failings spanned from November 2021 to July 2022. As part of the regulatory action, Bally’s Corporation-owned Gamesys, which operates prominent UK sites like Ballycasino.co.uk and Jackpotjoy.com, will also undergo a rigorous third-party audit. This audit is aimed at ascertaining the effectiveness of its AML and safer gambling policies implementation.

Gambling Commission’s Stance on Operator Compliance

Kay Roberts, the Executive Director of Operations at the Gambling Commission, emphasized the seriousness with which the regulator views its responsibility. “Significant regulatory action is inevitable whenever we detect shortcomings in the policies and procedures designed to make gambling fair, safe, and free from criminal activities,” Roberts stated.

Specific Areas of Non-Compliance

The Commission’s review of Gamesys revealed that the operator did not consistently identify customers at risk of harm related to gambling. In several instances, the records of interactions, considerations, and decision rationales lacked sufficient detail.

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Furthermore, in terms of anti-money laundering, the investigation found that Gamesys had allowed customers to spend substantial amounts without conducting necessary AML checks. The company’s customer due diligence measures were inadequate, and its ‘Reinvestment of winnings policy’ failed to adequately mitigate the risk of funds being sourced from illegitimate means.

Implications and Future Steps for Gamesys

This penalty signifies a major regulatory action and serves as a reminder of the rigorous standards expected in the UK’s online gaming industry. Gamesys must now not only pay the fine but also demonstrate significant improvements in its compliance measures. The forthcoming third-party audit will be crucial in ensuring that the company aligns its operations with the regulatory standards set by the Gambling Commission.

Setting a Precedent for Industry Compliance

The Gambling Commission’s action against Gamesys is a clear message to the online gaming industry about the importance of maintaining high standards of social responsibility and anti-money laundering practices. This case sets a precedent and serves as a warning to other operators to rigorously adhere to regulatory requirements to avoid similar punitive measures.

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Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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Legislation

Maryland Bill Seeks to Ban Online Gambling on College Campuses

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Maryland Bill Aims to Prohibit College Campus Gambling

As a seasoned gambling professional, staying abreast of legislative developments is paramount to understanding the evolving regulatory landscape. Maryland has recently garnered attention with the introduction of House Bill 1087, signalling a bold move to curtail online gambling activities on college campuses within the state. In this in-depth analysis, we delve into the intricacies of the proposed legislation, exploring its objectives, potential implications, and the broader implications for the gambling industry.

House Bill 1087, introduced in Maryland, seeks to prohibit online gambling on college campuses, underscoring concerns about the proliferation of gambling activities among students. The bill mandates the establishment of virtual perimeters, known as “geofences,” around college campuses to block access to online sportsbooks via cell phones. This proactive measure aims to mitigate the negative impact of gambling on campus communities and safeguard student welfare.

Under HB 1087, four-year public institutions, Baltimore City Community College, and local community colleges in Maryland are tasked with contracting geolocation service companies partnered with licensed sports betting operators. These institutions must implement the virtual perimeters by August 1, 2024, ensuring strict enforcement of the proposed ban on campus gambling. While the bill anticipates increased expenses for colleges, it asserts no revenue impact, emphasizing its primary objective of promoting a safe and responsible campus environment.

Despite the bill’s noble intentions, concerns have emerged regarding the practicality of enforcing geofences on college campuses. Towson University, a prominent public university in Maryland, has voiced apprehensions about the feasibility of implementing geolocation restrictions effectively. Challenges such as geolocation accuracy, mobile device settings, ethical considerations, and private network usage pose significant obstacles to enforcement, raising questions about the efficacy of the proposed legislation.

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Maryland’s foray into sports betting in November 2022 marked a significant milestone in the state’s gambling landscape, with ten operators, including industry giants like FanDuel and ESPN Bet, entering the market. However, the introduction of HB 1087 underscores a shift in regulatory focus towards addressing emerging concerns surrounding gambling accessibility and its potential impact on vulnerable populations, particularly college students.

As the debate surrounding House Bill 1087 unfolds, it prompts crucial discussions about the intersection of gambling, education, and regulatory oversight. While advocates argue for stringent measures to combat problem gambling and protect student well-being, critics raise valid concerns about the practicality and effectiveness of geofencing solutions. Ultimately, Maryland’s legislative initiative serves as a microcosm of broader efforts to strike a balance between consumer protection and industry growth in the ever-evolving landscape of online gambling regulation.

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