Wednesday, 11 September 2019

UK Gambling Commission Issues £1.8M Fine To Park Lane Club Operator

The UK Gambling Commission has issued a £1.8 million fine to Park Lane Club operator Silverbond Enterprises.

The regulatory body announced this week that it was fining casino operator Silverbond Enterprises after discovering that its real-life casino Park Lane Club failed to fulfil its anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations. The decision comes after the Commission launched an investigation into the operator and its Park Lane Club casino in Mayfair, London.

According to reports, the Commission launched a review of the operator’s gambling license back in February before conducting inspections into the brick and mortar casino in January and March. Following the investigation, the Commission found that Park Lane Club had breached its license by failing to complete due diligence on its top 250 customers.

It also breached rules regarding money laundering, failing to comply with its social responsibility obligations as ruled by the Commission. According to the Commission, the casino failed to recognise signs of gambling addiction in its customers including an instance in which one customer threatened staff and damaged the property.

Another instance included another customer asking for winnings to be transferred to his bank account to prevent further playing and another player asking the casino to increase the maximum deposit amount by cheque. As a result, Park Lane Club and its parent company were hit with a £1.8 million fine and received a licence warning.

In addition, the UK Gambling Commission amended Silverbond Enterprises gambling license by adding additional license conditions including the need for staff training, ensuring that employees undertake AML (Anti-Money Laundering) training and making sure an independent audit is taken within the next six months.

Gambling Regulations in the UK

The UK Gambling Commission hasn’t just been reviewing brick-and-mortar casinos, the regulatory body has also been conducting investigations into online casino sites too. Just this month EveryMatrix casino operator, the owner of PlayFrank and Fantasino, had its license suspended by the UK Gambling Commission over social responsibility obligations.

Meanwhile, the firm introduced a number of new policies over the last few months to better protect players. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Commission had launched a new policy which requires all casino sites to sign up with self-exclusion service GamSTOP as part of a condition of their license.

It also launched a 12-week consultation on the use of credit cards at online casinos, with a goal to completely ban the payment method from being used for online gambling. However, opposers have argued that banning credit cards would cause users to turn to loans or overdrafts to fund their gambling.

Lastly, the UK Gambling Commission introduced new rules in August to better protect players. The new rules reportedly change the way casino operators interact with customers, particularly those who are at risk of developing a gambling addiction.