Betfred Hit With £3.25m Fine for Regulatory Failings

An image featuring a slot machine with various colorful game options on the left, and on the right, a bold headline reads "betfred hit with £3.25m fine for regulatory failings," overlaid on a red background.

UK-based bookmaker Betfred has been ordered to pay £3.25 million by industry regulator the Gambling Commission for failings in its anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility controls.

Betfred, which is owned by brothers Fred and Peter Done and is registered as Done Bros (Cash Betting) Limited, was penalised by the Gambling Commission for breaching licence conditions between January 2021 and December 2022. The firm runs 1,750 high street betting shops, a website and an app.

The regulator found that Betfred failed to comply with certain Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP), specifically those “requiring the conducting of an appropriate risk assessment, the implementation of appropriate policies and procedures and keeping such policies under review to ensure their effectiveness, all with the objective of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Anti-money laundering breaches included failure to consistently obtain appropriate Know Your Customer (KYC) identification and Source of Funds (SoF) documentation from its customers when its thresholds were met, and poor record keeping.

The Gambling Commission investigation also found that Betfred had insufficient controls in place to protect new customers or to monitor “high-velocity spend” and duration of play.

Gambling Commission executive director of operations Kay Roberts said: “In recent years, there’s been a public focus on online gambling, but this case illustrates how important it is for us to continue our drive to raise standards across the whole industry.

“Gambling is a legitimate leisure activity enjoyed safely by millions, but it is vital that every single operator – either online or offline – has in place effective safeguards to prevent harm or crime.”

Betfred’s £3.25 million payment will go to social responsibility causes.

The latest financial sanction follows a fine of £2.9 million imposed on Betfred in September 2022 over similar gambler safety check failings.

The Gambling Commission emphasised that gambling operators should take account of the failings identified in the investigation and ask themselves the following questions:

  • Do you have formal processes in place to review your ML/TF risk assessment at least annually and measure the effectiveness of your AML and SG policies and procedures, and are findings adequately recorded?
  • Do you efficiently record all compliance decisions and are you able to demonstrate to the Commission, on request, evidence of ongoing assessment, evaluation and improvement?
  • Are lessons learned from public statements and other regulatory decisions appropriately incorporated in your policies and processes?
  • Are your customer risk profiles reviewed in light of new information?
  • Do you have a formalised process for analysing the effectiveness of customer interactions to ensure that reviews are adequately documented and consistent in their approach?
  • Do you log the types of behaviour which trigger a customer interaction and keep sufficient records of interactions, along with any decisions not to interact, especially in relation to the level of detail provided?
  • Have your staff received sufficient AML and social responsibility training?

To read the Gambling Commission’s full public statement, click here.

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