Skill On Net To Pay £300,000 After UK Commission Investigation

May 23, 2023
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Operator Skill On Net Limited will pay £305,150 after a UK Gambling Commission investigation revealed social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) failures.

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Operator Skill On Net Limited will pay £305,150 after a UK Gambling Commission investigation revealed social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) failures.

The voluntary regulatory settlement will also see the operator pay £9,079 towards the commission’s investigation costs.

Between January 2021 and December 2022, the regulator said it uncovered several licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) breaches.

An investigation and subsequent regulatory review revealed “insufficient policies, procedures and controls to comply with its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) responsibilities”, the commission said.

Additionally, the investigations found “deficiencies in its responsible gambling policies, procedures, controls and practices, including weaknesses in implementation”.

AML issues included failing to implement procedures to consider a gamblers salary when considering money laundering risks.

Several customers were also able to deposit and lose more than double the £2,000 deposit limit the operator had in place to mitigate the risks of unverified payment methods, the commission said.

Salaries were also not taken into account in responsible gambling checks, said the commission. In one case, a gambler was able to wager £3,000 in a month without checks, even though the operator knew this was more than their monthly salary, according to the regulator.

Skill On Net was also told that its interactions with customers were not sufficient, even though it used automated messaging and contacted gamblers via a chat function.

“The Licensee’s interactions were not effective in capturing the necessary information in order to make an assessment on whether an individual was at risk or not. The interactions that did take place were minimal and took the customer’s word at face value without any further scrutiny or attempt to seek further information to support decision making,” said the commission.

The settlement includes an agreement to conduct an independent third-party audit of the effective implementation of Skill On Net’s AML and safer gambling policies, procedures and controls within 12 months.

When calculating the regulatory settlement, the Gambling Commission took several aggravating factors into account, such as the nature of the breaches possibly meaning that other customers were affected that the commission has not reviewed.

The breach was also deemed similar to previous cases the commission has dealt with “which resulted in the publication of lessons to be learned for the wider industry”.

Skill On Net was also subjected to three compliance assessments which all identified failings resulting in a prolonged period of non-compliance.

In light of the decision, gambling operators have been told to take into account the host of failings identified in the investigation, including ensuring they have formal processes in place to measure the effectiveness of their AML and safer gambling policies, as well as making sure the findings are adequately recorded.

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