Casino Compliance: 6 Common Mistakes Casino Operators Make
The number of Brits signing up and providing personal data at online casinos continues to increase. As such, rules must be in place to ensure these companies function appropriately and protect the players.
After reaching an all-time high during the pandemic, current projections suggest the worldwide online gambling and betting market could reach $172.23 billion by 2030. With that in mind, here’s a guide that gives an overview of six typical casino compliance mistakes operators make. We’ve also identified opportunities available to fix them in this article.
What Is Casino Compliance?
In broad terms, “compliance” refers to conformity with established norms or policies. Since the gambling industry is highly regulated, compliance here means casinos (licensees) must adhere to the terms of their gaming licenses. Failure to follow these licence conditions means they would face fines or, at worst, have their licenses revoked.
Why Is Compliance Important for Online Gambling?
Without adequate safeguards, gambling businesses risk being complicit in facilitating financial crime at a time when authorities and regulators around the world are cracking down on this trend. As such, compliance is of utmost importance because it shields the operator from being exploited for fraudulent purposes and safeguards the players from various threats and risks.
Where Does the UK Stand With Casino Compliance?
The UK has a thorough government that promotes gambling regulation and compliance. The UK Gambling Commission oversees all aspects of gambling in the country on behalf of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. All details about obligations and license conditions are listed in the License Conditions and Codes or Practice (LCCP).
The commission seeks to safeguard users, reduce illegal activity in the gambling sector, and promote trust and transparency. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) issues gambling licenses and supervises all forms of gambling in the country, including online and land-based casinos.
What Is the Leading Casino Compliance Regulatory Body in the UK?
An independent regulatory organization, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), was set up in 2005 per the UK Gambling Act to oversee gambling in the country. Since then, the UKGC has been the UK’s leading casino compliance regulatory body.
Common Mistakes Casino Operators Make
Casino owners can inadvertently or intentionally break laws if they aren’t fully apprised of the most important regulations they must obey. As such, they may be subject to severe penalties in noncompliance cases. We’ll review some typical mistakes and how to fix or avoid them.
Mistake #1: Improper Identity Checks
Failure to do thorough customer identification checks is a common compliance oversight in casinos. Since casinos are obligated, by law, to investigate the IDs of their registered gamblers to prevent money laundering, this is a significant issue. Video slots, for example, were fined £1 million ($1.2 million) because a customer passed its identification verification processes using a fake driver’s license.
How to Fix It? 👀
A gambling organisation could face severe consequences if it fails to use proper customer identification checks. Implementing stringent identity verification procedures is the best way to stop this from happening. Compliance team members must also know and follow the proper guidelines for verification.
Also, operators who choose to automate the document verification process can identify phony individuals right on the spot. By automating the document verification process, operators can significantly reduce the chances of fraudulent activities, such as identity theft, forgery, and document tampering.
Mistake #2: Failure to Verify Proof of Source of Funds
Not verifying the source of funds for gambling transactions is a severe AML violation that can result in license withdrawal. Therefore, if a customer wishes to bet $50,000, the casino must have evidence that the consumer possesses that much legitimately before letting them play a game. Betfred was fined £322,000 ($390,000) for failing to check customer proof of source of funds properly.
How to Fix It? 👀
A casino’s first responsibility is to verify the legitimacy of a customer’s bankroll. There should be no compliance difficulties if PoSoF or KYC is performed upfront while the customer provides information to open an account. Casinos can verify this by asking for paperwork like pay stubs or bank statements.
Mistake #3: Poor Client Monitoring
Monitoring clients is a crucial part of being compliant. The process entails keeping tabs on a client’s gaming habits and looking for any telltale signs of illicit behavior.
After a casino has properly onboarded and verified a customer, the establishment must not relax its vigilance.
In the case of Daub Alderney, a casino operator, a punishment of £7.1m ($8.6m) was issued for the company’s failure to maintain adequate continuing surveillance of a business connection.
How to Fix It? 👀
Compliance fines can be avoided with constant monitoring procedures. Businesses must keep thorough records of their AML protocols to explain their actions to authorities if they discover any illegal activity on their platform. Casinos might expect heavier fines in the absence of such reports.
Mistake #4: Failure to Conduct an Assessment of Affordability
Effective September 12, 2022, the UK Gambling Commission’s regulation 3.4.3 regarding customer interaction guidance now includes an affordability assessment.
The Gambling Commission recommends that businesses take immediate action when they become aware of customers experiencing or at risk of experiencing harm. Access to open-source data can enhance risk assessment and the ability of service providers in the different gaming sectors to determine what their UK consumers can afford.
How to Fix It? 👀
Casinos should consider their clientele and the amount of disposable income each one of them has before establishing benchmark triggers that signify possible vulnerability. This should be done with gross revenues in mind, of course.
Set fair affordability thresholds to shield clients from potential gambling-related harm. It is key to keep an eye on customers currently in the profit trigger but with winnings indicating they should be shifted to a higher trigger.
Mistake #5: Loose Risk Assessment
Thorough risk assessment and risk management is a crucial part of any compliance program. To do so, operators must first ascertain the potential risks linked to people using their products or content and then take measures for mitigation. The casino may, for instance, be more stringent with its identity verification procedures if the consumer hails from a high-risk country.
How to Fix It? 👀
Severe sanctions and penalties may be imposed for inaccurate risk evaluations during operations. A casino needs to enhance due diligence (EDD) triggers for risk assessment and analysis of its consumers to reduce the likelihood of getting penalised. Also, increased scrutiny may be necessary in political risk cases or countries with a high potential for instability.
Mistake #6: Undetected Problem Gambling
Casinos have to take steps to limit the occurrence of problem gambling. To achieve this, gambling operators must make provision for responsible gaming help on their site. Customers can get responsible gambling help if they are having trouble controlling their gambling by using the services. Examples of these can include self-exclusion, limiting the amount of money they can spend on bets or gaming, and learning more about gambling addiction.
How to Fix It? 👀
The casinos’ compliance departments are responsible for ensuring the availability of such services. One of the casino’s responsibilities is also to provide counseling or coaching for staff dealing with people who may have a gambling addiction.
Raising Standards for Consumers – Compliance and Rule Enforcement 2023
The UKGC ensures to provide a compliance and rule enforcement report yearly, and in 2023 it’s once again raising its standards. The report is a statement detailing how operators upheld the codes of practice and other rules guiding their legal operation. Also, the regulator will also draw attention to fines or punishment issued to gambling businesses for failure in operator practices in the report.
The Gambling Commission (UKGC) controls the United Kingdom’s gambling industry and its activities.
The Gambling Act 2005 is the UK’s primary gambling legislation. It applies to the British Isles of England, Wales, and Scotland.
If you own or operate a gambling business (providing casino games or sports betting services), you must apply for a Gambling Commission license.