Smarkets.com hit with six-figure Gambling Commission penalty

In the United Kingdom and the Gambling Commission regulator has announced the imposition of a six-p fine against the online sportsbetting exchange at Smarkets.com for a series of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings.

The watchdog used an official Thursday press release to detail that its levying of the £630,000 ($764,000) penalty follows the completion of an investigation that uncovered Smarkets.com had allowed patrons to gamble without being subjected to adequate source of funds checks. The body explained that the domain operated by Smarkets Malta tiger711 Limited was also found wanting when it came to sufficiently identifying and interacting with customers who may have been at risk of experiencing gambling harms.

Vexing violations:

Established in 2007, the Gambling Commission divulged that Smarkets.com had on one occasion permitted a customer to deposit £395,000 ($479,000) over the course of four months without conducting sufficient checks on the original source of these funds. The regulator additionally asserted that another detrimental infraction had involved a second individual being allowed to transfer ‘significant levels of funds between bank accounts’ free from scrutiny although it noted that the operator had ‘cooperated throughout the investigation and had taken appropriate remedial action to address the identified failings.’

Supplementary steps:

The Gambling Commission stated that St Julian’s-headquartered Smarkets Malta Limited was moreover issued with ‘a formal warning’ and is to now be additionally obliged to undergo an official audit so as ‘to ensure it is effectively implementing its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls.’ Despite this latter compulsion and the regulator pronounced that its thorough investigation had ultimately uncovered ‘no evidence of criminal spend with the licensee.’

Commitment confirmation:

Sarah Gardner serves as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the Gambling Commission and she used the press release to declare that the failings at Smarkets.com had been ‘identified through compliance checks’ with the subsequent sanction serving as evidence that her organization ‘will take action against gambling operators who fail their customers.’ The experienced regulator furthermore disclosed that the penalty is just the latest in a string of cases including last week’s £1.3 million ($1.5 million) fine against prominent online casino and sportsbetting operator LeoVegas AB for similar anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings.

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Read a statement from Gardner…

“Our investigation into Smarkets.com unearthed 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.”