UKGC Fines Two Operators for Failing to Uphold Regulations
Annexio and Rank Digital Gaming Limited are facing fines after the UK Gambling Commission decided to fine them for regulatory failings.
Gambling operators that want to offer licensed services anywhere in the world must adhere to local regulations and restrictions. Any company that fails to do so, will face the consequences. In the United Kingdom, the Gambling Commission has a set of standards that must be followed in order for operators to remain in business. Fail to do that, and the operator can lose licensing or face penalties. Just recently, Rank Digital and Annexio were called out by regulators for failing to meet regulation standards. Over $1 million in fines were issued between the two companies.
Annexio to Pay Over $833,000
The UKGC has stated that Annexio was unable to follow gambling regulations during a time period spanning from October 2019 to November 2021. The company reportedly broke five different regulations, centering around anti-money laundering.
The company did not follow the LCCP AML Policies set by the Commission and did not follow the rules when it comes to customer interactions. The company also neglected to submit reports that the regulator requires.
After reaching a settlement with the UKGC, Annexio will pay £612,000 ($833,544) for the failings. Investigation costs will also be covered. The company seemingly got off easy as the Gambling Commission could have chosen to take the operators licensing.
Fewer Violations for Rank Digital
While Annexio led the way in violations, Relax Digital was not far behind. The company did not comply with three entries of the Social Responsibility Code Provisions as well as the License Conditions and Codes of Practice.
Rank did not follow through with correct customer interactions along with self-exclusion needs, and customer identification. It is essential that a company ensure that any player who is self-excluded does not receive marketing materials or gain access to gaming. Self-exclusion must also be suggested to players who might be on the brink of a gambling addiction.
Customer interaction and identification is also important to ensure identity as well as only provide access to gaming to individuals who are fit to play, not showing signs of addiction.
For Rank Digital, the violations took place from October 2019 to February 2021. Specifics were not provided by regulators, though we do know that the company did allow a self-excluded player to access the gaming platform.
Another breach was associated with gambling harm. Customers were not interacted with in a way that minimizes the risk of gambling harm. The Commission’s guidance regarding customer interaction was not followed.
Transactions were also not monitored when it came to users who had more than one account with the brand. Overall, the UKGC was not happy with the operations of Rank Digital and a settlement agreement was reached regarding the breaches.
Rank Digital will pay £700,557 to the Commission, but it will not be considered a fine. They are also covering the amount of the investigation.
This recent fining is clear evidence that the UKGC is serious about player protection and operators following regulations effectively. Investigations are started all the time and the Commission can easily choose to review a company whenever they like.
If failings are discovered, then the company must make changes to avoid such an issue again and work towards creating a safer environment. Fines such as this are common, as the regulator wants to give operators a chance to make things right before taking away licensing as a last resort.