TonyBet fined £442,750 for failing to follow anti-money laundering laws
A betting firm has been fined £442,750 and warned about its failure to comply with anti-money laundering laws and social responsibility rules.
TonyBet has also been accused of failing to provide fair and transparent terms on its website, according to the Gambling Commission.
It will now be forced to undergo a third-party audit to assess whether it is effectively implementing the required rules, the regulator said.
Unfair terms published on TonyBet’s website include stating the company could request identification documents for ‘all withdrawals’ – potentially hampering users from receiving their winnings – while ignoring such checks when customers were making deposits.
Rob Davies, author of Jackpot: How Gambling Conquered Britain, said the process ‘backs up the notion that a lot of gambling operators aren’t interested in performing checks on potentially addicted/vulnerable punters, as long as they’re losing.
‘When those punters happen to win, suddenly operators get all socially responsible and put up roadblocks.’
Other unfair terms included confiscating customer’s winnings if they failed to provide anti-money laundering documentation within 30 days, and labelling accounts as ‘dormant’ after six months of inactivity, rather than 12.
Social responsibility failures perpetrated by the company included failing to identify and interact with customers who may be at risk of experiencing gambling-related harms.
Meanwhile, the firm also failed to ensure it had appropriate policies, procedures and controls to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
Kay Roberts, executive director of operations at the Gambling Commission, said: ‘Not only does this case illustrate our drive to clamp down on anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures, but also highlights action we will take against gambling businesses who fail to be fair and open with customers.’
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