Lottoland Fined, Warned Over UK Failings

September 24, 2021
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Lottoland has been fined £760,000 by the UK Gambling Commission, handed a formal warning and faces new licence conditions for failures in social responsibility and money laundering.

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Lottoland has been fined £760,000 by the UK Gambling Commission, handed a formal warning and faces new licence conditions for failures in social responsibility and money laundering.

Lottoland’s violations included the fact that players frequently changing deposit limits was not considered a marker of harm and thus a cause for intervention, the regulator said on Thursday.

Customer interactions were often generic, mostly an email detailing responsible gambling tools available, and “there was little evidence of interactions being adapted” to the extent of possible harm, the commission said.

Further, there was no evidence of adequate financial and affordability reviews conducted to determine whether a player was being harmed or at risk of harm.

The company did not effectively review bank statements supplied by players to prove addresses, nor did it restrict accounts following source-of-funds requests, which violated required anti-money laundering policies.

It allowed customers to register third-party debit cards, including those to a different name to their account, the regulator said.

Lottoland relied too heavily on ineffective threshold prompts and inadequate information to determine how much players should be allowed to spend based on their income or wealth, the commission wrote.

Lottoland, under its corporate name EU Lotto, has been fined previously in the UK and Sweden, and the Gibraltar-based betting company has drawn controversy in countries ranging from Australia to Germany to Ireland because of to its lottery betting business model.

Conditions mandated as a part of the UK fine include extensive independent auditing. The regulator said Lottoland’s failures occurred between October 2019 and November 2020.

In a statement, Lottoland said the fine was “related to legacy issues around some of our compliance controls which have now been addressed”.

Remedial action taken included increased investment in compliance functions, including doubling headcount, bringing in third-party support, a review of key policies and automating some systems.

“We are confident that our current policies and processes meet all relevant standards,” the company said.

In June 2017, Lottoland agreed to pay £150,000 to settle UK claims that its advertising at the time was not sufficiently clear in stating that consumers were betting on an outcome, rather than buying a lottery ticket.

In June 2019, it was fined 700,000 Swedish kronor (£59,000) on similar grounds by the Swedish Gambling Authority over bets on Svenska Spel’s EuroJackpot lottery.

In May of this year, a Maltese court approved German officials’ efforts to collect nearly €10m in VAT that authorities claim a unit of the company owes in Germany.

Lottoland said it has appealed that judgment.

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