UKGC to shake up crime-prevention measures

By David Cook
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is to implement new regulations that will require operators to take greater care in preventing gambling-related crime.

All gambling operators must carry out an assessment of the risks of money laundering to their company, while showing that they have sufficient measures in place to mitigate the risks.

There were a total of 2,459 suspicious activity reports filed by operators between October 2014 and September 2015, according to the National Crime Agency.

Any criminal investigations involving operators, or their premises in the case of land-based operators, where they appear to have failed to keep crime out of gambling, must be reported to UKGC.

It could be viewed that this move was necessary after two notable faults in this area were made by bookmakers this year.

Paddy Power was found to have failed to keep crime out of gambling, related to two customers at one of its betting shops and an online customer who was later convicted of serious criminal offences, and contributed £280,000 to socially responsible causes.

Gala Coral voluntarily opted to pay a settlement of over £846,000 to the victim of a theft after the stolen money was laundered through Coral brands and the operator paid £30,000 to UKGC to pre-empt a formal licence review.

Another new measure will see terms imposed to prevent employees from taking advantage of suspicious or irregular betting patterns.

The new rules will come into effect later this year and UKGC will consider whether licensees should provide information about crimes not covered by the latest changes, such as police call-outs to premises.

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