Gibraltar-licensed operators to pay £2.5m after AML failings

The fines come after a 12-month review of AML procedures used by B2C licensees.
The fines come after a 12-month review of AML procedures used by B2C licensees.

The Gibraltar Gambling Division review highlighted weaknesses that led to several operators processing stolen money.

Gibraltar.- Operators have collectively agreed to pay £2.5m to the Gibraltar Gambling Care Foundation after being wrapped by the peninsula’s regulator for historic weaknesses in anti-money laundering controls.

The Gibraltar Gambling Division (GGD) carried out a 12-month review of AML procedures used by B2C licensees for non-UK international customers.

It reported that it had found too many cases in which “risk tolerances were too great and the timing on interventions was too slow or ineffective”.

In one case that was reviewed, several operators had processed funds that a customer had stolen from an employer. The customer had forged documents and provided false information to justify the source of the funds. 

Gibraltar has warned the industry that more improvement on AML compliance is needed, including enhanced due diligence on customer verification and onboarding and the application of technical controls to monitor all player accounts and transactions.

Operators have also been ordered to report suspicious activity in a timely manner as detailed in obligations under the Gibraltar Proceeds of Crime Act 2015 (POCA).

The £2.5m fine issued to the various licensed operators will be used to support AML and social responsibility training initiatives at the Gibraltar University.

The regulator said: “Executive teams under the supervision of their Boards should ensure that internal risk assessments and reviews in this area take full account of the Gambling Commissioner’s expectations in this important area.

“The fact that this matter has not proceeded to the enforcement stage under POCA supervisory powers in respect of any single issue, does not mean that these powers will not be utilised in the future and the wider industry should heed the learnings detailed in this thematic review.”

Last month, the British Gambling Commission fined BoyleSports £2.8m due to AML failings.

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