The UK Gambling Commission took regulatory action against Malta-based sports betting and iGaming operator Casumo. The online gaming operator will be subject to a hefty fine of £6 million, undergo extensive auditing, and receive an official warning for failings in social responsibility and anti-money laundering procedures.
This regulatory action is the direct result of an investigation covering the period between October 2019 and January 8, 2020. During this investigation period, the UK Gambling Commission found a number of serious failings at the operator.
The audit was meant to examine the changes at the operator after a period of rapid growth, instead, they found that the company was not putting into effect policies and procedures for customer interaction where it had concerns that a customer’s activity may indicate problem gambling.
The affected customers
This resulted in one customer losing £1.1m over three years without being subject to a responsible gambling interaction. Another customer lost £65,000 in one month without being subject to the same responsible gambling interaction. One customer even lost £89,000 in a five-hour period without being contacted by the company to check if they had any issues.
Outside of their issues contacting problem gamblers, they had issues with their anti-money laundering procedures. They did not carry out proper checks when large amounts were deposited, and they failed to correctly assess produced bank statements.
Casumo is a traditional sportsbook but they do employ some of the offers that come from UK esports betting sites. They offer odds on most major esports events from League of Legends to Starcraft 2. The Casumo esports offering may not be as wide-ranging as a site that focuses on esports, but it is good to know that the UK Gambling Commission is still looking out for bettors in the UK regardless of the betting type.
Comments from the organizations
Speaking about the fine and their commitment to the regulations set in place by the UK Gambling Commission, Shelly Suter-Hadad, Casumo CEO said:
“Since joining Casumo last year, my focus has been on putting in place a new senior leadership team and Personal Management Licence holders with extremely strong industry experience, and the knowledge and expertise to ensure we are a compliance-led business.
“In addition, recognising that key processes fell short in the past, I took immediate action to implement fundamental operational changes, so that Casumo is now a gaming group with compliance and responsible gambling at the heart of its business and culture. These efforts, together with our full collaboration, have been formally recognised multiple times by the Commission.”
Richard Watson, UKGC executive director, also added:
“This case was brought about through planned compliance activity and every operator out there should be aware that we will continue to take firm action against those who fail to raise standards.”
The need for regulation
Online sports and esports betting sites sometimes get a bad name. There are plenty of fly by night black and grey market operators out there. These fines may seem steep, but they are the cost of keeping operators on the straight and narrow while maintaining the safety of the online bettors.