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Buzz Group Ltd Fined for Social Responsibility and Money Laundering Failures

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission continues to assess online operators ensuring they remain fully compliant in accordance with the UK licensing regulation.Recently, the UKGC found failings within the industry issuing fines to many who have not completed full assessments on its customers regarding money laundering and social responsibility, preventing gambling-related harm.

Operator Failings

In October 2021, BGO one of the biggest and most successful operators had its license revoked pending an investigation into actions taking place contrary to the UK Gambling Act. A few weeks ago, BGO announced they are to move away from the UK market and would not be pursuing the revoked license.Buzz Group Ltd is the latest in a string of operators to get its knuckles wrapped by the UKGC after a report revealed social responsibilities and money laundering failures between October 2019 and December 2020. The UKGC issued a £780,000 fine after Buzz Group failed to identify players who are deemed at risk as triggers were set much higher than they should. A single-player was able to deposit £22,400 during a five-day period with no interaction from the operator.Another two customers who won large amounts of money had equally displayed high spend limits, but again, the operator failed to flag the high-risk level.Customers who gambled aggressively over shorter time frames had no interaction from the operator. The UKGC found staff members were not following requirements by its own compliance procedures to ensure customers were able to comfortably afford such high gambling levels.

Money Laundering Failures

In regard to money laundering failures, staff was found to be over-reliant on ‘customer verbal assurances’ during interactions to establish the source of funds (SOF). In another incident, Buzz failed to establish the SOF after a customer had a huge win, not considering the initial depositing funds could be as a result of a crime or recycled winnings.Commission Executive Director Helen Venn said, “As a regulator we expect all operators to effectively implement policies and procedures which make gambling safe and crime-free. Every single gambling business should be aware that we do check that these are in place and are being adhered to. If they are not, we will take action.”

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