Sweden Fines Casino Cosmopol For AML Failures

December 20, 2023
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The Swedish Gambling Authority has warned and fined Svenska Spel’s Casino Cosmopol SEK2m (€179,500) for failures in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing policies.
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The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has warned and fined Svenska Spel’s Casino Cosmopol SEK2m (€179,500) for failures in anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing policies.

The SGA has been monitoring the land-based casino unit’s AML and terrorist financing policies since November 2021.

In 2018, Casino Cosmopol was fined SEK8m for AML shortcomings, though the size of the fine was later reduced. 

The regulator said yesterday (December 19) it requested a list of Casino Cosmopol’s top 100 players, and it zeroed in on eight of them.

Some customers were classified as low risk who should have been considered high risk, the regulator said.

Others were allowed to gamble more than their previously agreed limits, according to the SGA.

Problems included allowing a player who was cleared to spend up to 5,000 krona who was allowed to spend up to 89,000 krona at least once, the authority said.

After checks, the player was found to have income insufficient to support their gambling habits.

On another occasion, a player said they were using money given to them by their parents, who lived in another country, and Casino Cosmopol accepted the explanation without documentation.

The regulator said that the casino chain needed to conduct due diligence on players not just when they made big losses, but also when they acquired big quantities of casino chips.

Casino Cosmopol is a subsidiary of government-owned Svenska Spel, and it returns its profits to the state.

In a statement, Svenska Spel said that the regulator had noted improvements that should reduce the risk of money laundering since it had begun monitoring the company’s policies.

“We have a high ambition for our work and have implemented new comprehensive tools and routines, which greatly improved and developed our work against money laundering”, said Ola Enquist, CEO of Casino Cosmopol.

Svenska Spel has just named Anna Johnson, Swedish chief executive of accounting firm Grant Thornton, as its CEO, to replace Patrik Hofbauer, who leaves his job in January.

She will take on the role by June 2024, with board chair Erik Strand running the company on an interim basis until then.

Also on Tuesday, the government submitted a bill to parliament aimed at boosting consumer protection in gambling, a bill which includes provisions such as increasing the size of fines for AML law violations.

Gambling licensees will also be able to access data that players have submitted, to meet their obligations to provide a duty of care for the gambler.  

The changes would take effect on April 1.

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