Smarkets Penalised In UK For AML, Social Responsibility Failings

August 11, 2022
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The UK Gambling Commission has penalised ​​​​​​​Malta-based Smarkets £630,000 for anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility failures.

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The UK Gambling Commission has penalised Malta-based Smarkets £630,000 for anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility failures.

The company was accused of letting players gamble without adequate source of funds checks, along with a failure to identify and interact with players at risk of harm, the commission said today (August 11).

Smarkets was also given a formal warning and will be required to undergo an audit to ensure it is properly implementing its AML and social responsibility policies, the regulator said.

One gambler was allowed to deposit £395,000 in a four-month period, without appropriate source of funds checks being carried out by Smarkets, the commission said.

Another player transferred significant amounts of money between accounts without scrutiny or source of funds checks.

Smarkets operates a betting exchange and prediction market in the UK, along with a mobile-focused sports betting operation.

In the UK, it operates under the smarkets.com and getsbk.com brands.

Sarah Gardner, the commission’s deputy chief executive, said the regulator's investigation revealed “a variety of failures where customers were put at risk of gambling harm”.

“It was obvious that poor systems and processes were in place which contributed to these breaches, driven by the company's failure to effectively implement its policies and controls,” she said.

Smarkets cooperated with the investigation and adopted remedial measures, the commission said.

There was no evidence of criminal spending found in the review, the regulator wrote.

Smarkets CEO Jason Trost said the company accepts the regulator’s findings and has “invested substantially” in compliance.

“We take our responsibility to have appropriate compliance policies in place extremely seriously”, he said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with the UKGC and other relevant stakeholders, and will take proactive steps in order to ensure further improvement to our procedures.”

Last week, LeoVegas, which is being acquired by MGM Resorts, was penalised £1.3m by the Gambling Commission and warned also for AML and social responsibility failures.

Additional reporting by Harrison Sayers.

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