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Betway fined £11.6m for VIP failings

By Owain Flanders

Betway will pay a Gambling Commission fine of £11.6m ($14.8m) after being found guilty of a series of failings in relation to its VIP customers.

In an investigation into the operator's high-spending customers, the Gambling Commission found multiple cases of “social responsibility and money laundering failings.”

In one case, Betway failed to carry out social responsibility interactions with a customer who deposited and lost £187,000 in two days.

In a second instance, the operator did not carry out adequate source of funds checks on a VIP customer who deposited over £8m and lost over £4m in a four-year period.

Due to a lack of affordability and source of funds checks, the Gambling Commission calculated Betway had allowed £5.8m to flow through the business “which has been found, or could reasonably be suspected to be, the proceeds of crime.”

In addition to its £11.6m fine, Betway must implement measures to ensure improvements are made.

Richard Watson, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission, said: “The actions of Betway suggest there was little regard for the welfare of its VIP customers or the impact on those around them.

“We have set tight deadlines for when we expect to see progress and if we do not see the right results then we will have no choice but to take further action. This case highlights again why progress needs to be made.”

When Gambling Insider contacted Betway for comment, CEO Anthony Werkman said: "Betway takes full responsibility for the small number of historic cases which have led to this settlement. We have fully cooperated with the investigation and will take further proactive steps to ensure all recommendations and findings are implemented.

“As a responsible, licensed operator, extensive work has and will continue to be undertaken to greatly enhance our compliance systems, policies and processes. We have disbanded our VIP program in recognition that tighter controls were needed to ensure our customers were using our services responsibly.

“Betway has no interest in profiting from any stolen funds wagered on its sites. Where we establish stolen funds have been used, we will ensure the victim is fully reimbursed. For all other cases, donations are made to charities focused on socially responsible initiatives.”


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