Are Gambling Fines Increasing?
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is responsible for the upholding of the rules and regulations of the industry. Part of that includes the issuing of fines to companies that have failed to comply with the conditions of their licence. If a company fails to comply with those conditions, the chances are high that they’re putting people at risk or are allowing nefarious types to carry out illegal activities, such as money laundering. It is little wonder, therefore, that the UKGC is regularly looking to issue companies with fines for their behaviour.
The question is, are these fines increasing both in terms of how much businesses are being asked to pay and in terms of their frequency? It can be tempting to assume that the Gambling Commission is regularly dishing out fines to companies, simply on account of the fact that when they do it tends to make headlines. In reality, the UKGC tries not to issue fines unless it feels as if to do so would make a major difference to the attitude and behaviour of the companies that are being issued with said fines on a regular basis.
Frequency Of Fines
The best thing to do in terms of figuring out whether or not the number of fines being issued by the Gambling Commission have gone up is to have a look over the past couple of years and the regulatory actions that have been taken by the industry’s governing body. Their website has a list of all such actions that have been taken, which we have decided to limit to those that have either resulted in a financial penalty of payment in lieu of a financial penalty. Here’s a look at how many times that has happened over the past couple of years:
It’s fair to say that the evidence suggests that the issuing of fines has gone up, purely in numerical terms. From ten fines issued in 2018 through to 12 fines issues by September of 2021, that is an increase without even thinking about 2020. 2020 was a particularly bad year for compliance with the Gambling Commission, though the majority of the issues were with Caesars Entertainment Limited and broken down into the different clubs that come under their jurisdiction. The question is, has the amount of money being charged gone up too?
Exploring The Figures
The sheer number of fines going up at the rate that they appear to have been increasing by is one thing, but if these fines were issued in small amounts then that is, in itself, interesting to note. If, on the other hand, the amount of money that the various companies have been being asked to pay has increased then that is suggestive of a Gambling Commission that is becoming increasingly incensed by the fact that the industry that it is in charge of has been failing to adhere to its rules and regulations on a regular basis.
Here’s a look at the individual charges over the past few years, including a look at companies that have been issued with them, how much they’ve been asked to pay and the reason behind the fine being issued in the first place:
Casumo Services Limited – £5.85 million fine – money laundering & social responsibility
Daub Alderney Limited – £7.1 million fine – money laundering & social responsibility
Rank Digital Gaming / Grosvenor Casinos – £500,000 payment in lieu – social responsibility
Mark Jarvis Limited – £60,000 payment in lieu – social responsibility
Paddy Power Betfair – £910,993 payment in lieu – money laundering
Power Leisure Bookmakers – £190,760 payment in lieu – social responsibility
Paddy Power Betfair – £349,762 payment in lieu – money laundering
Paddy Power Betfair – £265,606 payment in lieu – social responsibility
Videoslots Limited – £1 million payment in lieu – money laundering
In Touch Games Limited – £2.2 million payment in lieu – money laundering & social responsibility
Betit Operations Limited – £1.4 million payment in lieu – money laundering
MT SecureTrade Limited – £592,333 payment in lieu – money laundering
Gamesys Operations Limited – £690,000 payment in lieu – money laundering
Platinum Gaming Limited – £990,200 payment in lieu – money laundering
Casino 36 Limited – £152,259 payment in lieu – money laundering & social responsibility
Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited – £4.8 million payment in lieu – safeguards & money laundering
Petfre – £182,000 payment in lieu – money laundering
Bestbet Limited – £230,972 fine – money laundering & social responsibility
Silverbond Enterprises Limited – £1.8 million fine – money laundering & social responsibility
Martin Henry Bailey – £5,000 fine – employment of young people
Aspers (Stratford City) – £652,500 fine – money laundering & Social responsibility
BoyleSports – £2.8 million fine – money laundering
TripleBet Limited – £739,099 fine – money laundering & social responsibility
Mr Green Limited – £3 million payment in lieu – money laundering
Betway Limited – £5.8 million payment in lieu – money launderings & social responsibility
Caesars Entertainment Limited – £13 million payment in lieu – systemic failings
FSB Technology (UK) Limited – £600,000 payment in lieu – money laundering & social responsibility
PT Entertainment Services Limited – £3.5 million fine – social responsibility
Netbet Enterprises Limited – £748,000 payment in lieu – responsible gambling failings
GAN (UK) Limited – £100,000 payment in lieu – money laundering & social responsibility
BGO Entertainment Limited – £2 million payment in lieu – money laundering & social responsibility
2021 (To Mid-September)
Nichola Aitken – £25,000 fine – several breaches
Corinthian Clubs Limited – £68,517 fine – money laundering & others
Daub Alderney Limited – £5.85 million fine – money laundering & social responsibility
Clockfair Limited – £260,000 payment in lieu – several breaches
Shaftesbury Casino Limited – £260,000 payment in lieu – several breaches
Les Croupiers Casino Limited – £202,500 payment in lieu – several breaches
Double Diamond Gaming Limited – £247,000 payment in lieu – several breaches
White Hat Gaming Limited – £1,334,053.18 payment in lieu – money laundering
In Touch Games Limited – £3.4 million fine – money laundering & social responsibility
Casumo Services Limited – £6.005 million fine – money laundering & social responsibility
A & S Leisure Group Limited – £377,340 fine – money laundering & social responsibility
Gambling Fines Are Increasing
It is worth bearing in mind that we haven’t given all financial information here. In some instances, for example, the UKGC has also instructed the company concerned to pay back money to any victims of crime, for example, or has asked the licensee to pay the Gambling Commission’s costs. We’re going purely off the actually penalties issues or the payments in lieu made. Equally, we haven’t given in-depth information on the reasoning behind the fines being issued, but you can see that money laundering remains a chief reason.
What we know, then, is that the Gambling Commission has increased the number of fines that it is issuing year on year and the amount that companies are having to pay. 2020 is a slight anomaly insomuch as the record £13 million paid by Caesars Entertainment Limited boosted the amount paid by a large degree, but when you consider that companies have had to pay more than £18 million in 2021 and that only includes figures up to the middle of September, it is indicative of a rise in the amount being paid in penalties by gambling companies.