Britain’s gambling industry is being warned that the Commission ‘will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety’ following enforcement action involving suspending an online casino from operating and then fining it £3.8m.
Genesis Global Limited – which runs 14 websites including genesiscasino.com, casinoplanet.com and casinocruise.com – has also been given a warning by the Commission and told it must undergo further extensive auditing.
The operator was suspended from operating in Britain after enquiries revealed significant social responsibility and money laundering failures.
Three months later (14 October 2020) the suspension was lifted following significant compliance improvements but the Commission’s investigation continued and today concluded with a £3.8m fine, a warning and an additional licence condition demanding further auditing.
Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director, said:
“All gambling businesses should pay very close attention to this case.
The Commission will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety and that extends to stopping a business from actually operating.
Failing to follow rules aimed at keeping gambling safe and crime-free will never be a viable business option for gambling businesses in Britain.”
Social responsibility failures included:
- not carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions with, or placing any effective restrictions on the account of, a customer who spent £245,000 in three months. Three days into their relationship Genesis knew the customer was an NHS nurse earning £30,000 a year
- not carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions or establishing affordability of a customer who lost £197,000 over six months. The same day the customer closed her account, stating she wanted to spend more time with her family, she was allowed to open another account with the business and deposit £200
- not carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions or establishing affordability of a customer who lost £234,000 in a six week period.
Money laundering failures included:
- requested source of funds only after one customer had lost £209,000. Prior to this Genesis had estimated the customer was earning £111,000 a year because the consumer had told them they were a director and this was the average salary of directors in London. The operator failed to take into account the company was dormant and that there would be a wide range of director salaries. Genesis also failed to verify information supplied by the customer to substantiate the level of spend
- a customer was allowed to deposit over £1,300,000 and lose £600,000 before carrying out sufficient source of funds checks. The customer provided Genesis with documentation including a bank statement which showed deposits into the account to the value of £23,000 and payments out to the value of £27,000 – clearly not enough to support the level of gambling
- a customer was allowed to lose £107,000 over six months without carrying out sufficient source of funds checks. Genesis relied on assertion that the customer’s money came from an allowance from parents who owned factories overseas and failed to verify this information. The customer provided a number of bank statements, however, they did not evidence any source of income but did show transactions with other gambling operators.