Intouch Games slapped with £3.4 million fine for multiple failings22nd March 2021 |
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has fined mobile casino operator Intouch Games a whopping £3.4 million for several failings across anti-money laundering, social responsibility, and transparent customer communication. The operator also received an official warning from the commission.
Apart from the regulatory fine and warning, Intouch Games, which operates mFortune, PocketWin, CashMo, MrSpin, SlotFactory.com, BonusBoss, and Casino2020 among many others, is being ordered to hire a firm of independent auditors as its license is being placed under review. The audit carried out will inspect and assess the multi-brand mobile casino operator’s license to make sure that it is compliant with the UK’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).
In rather harsh terms, the penalty states that Intouch Games is being held accountable for severe negligence with regards to its social responsibility duties on safeguarding its customers and their interaction with the company’s games. The UKGC has determined that Intouch did not follow the correct customer care procedures and policies for seven of their players who were showing signs of troubling compulsive gambling behavior. Moreover, Intouch teams are also being charged with failing to use all the relevant sources of information available to them to safeguard and guarantee effective decision-making when interacting with the seven players in question.
“If the Licensee had followed its policy it should have given more consideration to placing mandatory limits on customer accounts,” the UKGC noted in its assessment.
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Just as serious are the accusations of anti-money laundering failings, with the commission reporting that Intouch neglected its duties to carry out an ‘appropriate level of enhanced customer due diligence. UKGC revealed that the operator failed to critically review the player source of funds information when it was requested.
This was made all the more worrying with the news that Intouch was allowing its customers to use a payment provider which doubled as an exchange for cryptocurrencies, and on top of it, did not have a risk assessment that took this risk into account.
To top it all off, Intouch Games also failed in having fair and transparent terms and practices. Among other customer communication failings, one can find SMS texts which did not state the minimum and maximum deposits on an offer’s significant terms, nor the time limit in which the bonus offer could be claimed.
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Richard Watson, the Executive Director of the UKGC, said, “Through our challenging compliance and enforcement activity we will continue our work to raise standards in the industry and continue to hold failing operators to account.”
One might also recall that in 2019, Intouch Games was already fined £2.2 million in penalty charges by the UKGC. Echoing the latest fine, Intouch Games was charged with failing to put in place effective safeguards to keep players safe from gambling harm and to prevent money laundering.
Back then, Watson had said that the UKGC expects “operators to know their customers and to ask the right questions to make sure they meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations”, something which Intouch Games seemingly still has to learn despite having accepted the charges levied against it less than two years ago.
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