Swedish Gambling Authority issues warning and sanction fee to Kindred

Kindred Group subsidiary Spooniker has received a warning and sanction fee of SEK 10.9m ($10.3m) from the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA), for shortcomings in its attempts against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. 

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The SGA claims Kindred has failed in its enhanced due diligence requirements and has not taken sufficient measures to assess the risk of its services being used to either finance terrorism or launder money. 

The warning and sanction fee received by Kindred relates to a period between January 2019 and February 2022.  

However, Kindred says it has implemented several improvements in the Swedish markets to strengthen its Spooniker processes.  

These supposed improvements include:  

  • Improved AML procedures, including enhanced due diligence procedures. For example, any customer who is considered high risk is required to send bank statements and failure to comply will result in account closure and a suspicious transaction report (STR) will be submitted to the financial police if appropriate. 
  • Introduced financial indicators and backstops according to recurring income on customers reaching high risk. 
  • Extended and thorough customer risk assessments, entailing detailed transaction and gameplay review, as well as a review of product risk, affordability risk and risks related to payment methods used. 
  • Increased the number of risk-assessed customers and suspicious transaction reports (STR) sent to the financial police. 
  • Expanded the AML team to manage the increased requirements relating to appropriately identifying and managing customer risk. 

Kindred adds that it shares the ambition of the SGA to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, claiming that anti-money laundering is a priority in its compliance and sustainability framework.

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