Touch Games (ITG) has been cracked with a hefty fine by the Great Britain Gambling Commission for social responsibility and money laundering violations.
The Commission has levied the unsightly fine of £6.1m (€6.9m/$7.5m) for the failures across 11 websites ITG runs in Britain, including Bonusboss.co.uk, Drslot.co.uk, Cashmo.co.uk, and Slotfactory.co.uk.
Among the findings of a March 2022 compliance assessment were failures by ITG to interact with customers within seven weeks of being flagged for not addressing erratic play patterns and extended periods of play.
ITG was also found negligent by not performing due diligence for a player whose account was flagged after claiming they earned £6,000 a month and exhibiting irregular customer spending and gambling behavior during unsociable hours.
The specific counts of negligence identified by the Commission include ITG culpability for insufficiently accounting for risks associated with a customer being the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, having links to high-risk jurisdictions, PEP Politically Exposed Status, and being in the family of a PEP.
The Commission further found fault with the lack of procedures at ITG addressing general risk factors, and the lack of compliance ITG displayed for the Commission’s money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment.
Failing to Implement AML
ITG did not implement its own general AML policies, failing to request source of funds information from customers who had deposited and lost £10,000 over a 12-month period.
Specific Code Violations
The Commission cited specific breaches of AML and terrorist financing prevention codes of Licence condition 12.1.1 paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 for the massive fines.
Social Responsibility Breaches
The Commission further cited ITG for Social Responsibility Breaches SRCP including Provision 3.4.1 Customer Interaction – paragraphs 1b, 1c, and 2, which brought ITG afoul of section 82(1) of the original UK iGaming regulations Gambling Act 2005.
The fine of £6.1m was levied under the Gambling Act’s section 121(1).
History of Violations
This is ITG’s third slap: ITG shelled out £2.2m to settle regulatory failures in 2019, and in 2021 was penalized a stiffer £3.4m fine accompanied by a warning against subsequent failures.
Commission Head Speaks
Commission executive director of operations Kay Roberts expressed consternation regarding the larger new fines, saying her organization expected to see more improvement at this scheduled compliance assessment:
“Disappointingly, although many improvements had been made, there was still more to do.”
The ITG action indicates to all operators in the UK should take note of the escalating nature of fines for repeated violations, and understand that just paying a fine does not end the problem.