An Isle of Man-based operator has lost its UK licence following an investigation that revealed anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility failures.
International Multi-Media Entertainments (IMME), which runs betting site Lotteries.com, had its licence suspended in March 2020 by the Gambling Commission after concerns about the way it conducted business.
An investigation was launched and has now concluded, revealing IMME’s “significant suitability, social responsibility and money laundering failures.”
Suitability concerns included customer complaints about repeated calls from IMME sales agents, including one Lotteries.com customer in her 90s who was called several times a week.
And IMME was also accused of targeting elderly individuals in general. 75% of its customers were over 65, while a further 20% were over 80 years old.
This age issue seemed to pervade every concern, including IMME’s social responsibility failings. There were no records of interactions with a 78-year-old customer who spent £63,951 ($85,138) in just over three months. Likewise, one 74-year-old customer was allowed to deposit £9,379 in eight days without an adequate responsible gambling interaction.
The Gambling Commission’s investigation also identified AML shortcomings, notably, IMME failed to obtain source of funds evidence for a 100-year-old customer’s sizeable deposits, which doubled between September and October 2018.
Helen Venn, Gambling Commission Executive Director, commented: “We will not tolerate gambling businesses behaving in the way IMME did.
“Gambling operators in Britain must follow our social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules, and a failure to do this will lead to us taking tough action.
“There is no room in Britain’s gambling industry for operators who fail in the way IMME have.”