Globally, non-US gaming authorities fined operators approximately £44.7m ($60.25m) in 2020, according to the Gambling Industry Fines Tracker. The sum is up 175 percent from last year’s tally of over £16m ($21.6m).
This tracker included worldwide operators’ penalties from the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, Swedish Gambling Authority, and New South Wales Liquor and Gaming Authority in Australia.
Caesars Entertainment UK was hit the worst. In April, the UKGC fined the global casino operator £13 million for chronic breaches with VIP clients. This was the UKGC’s biggest ever fine.
Between January 2016 and December 2018, the firm operated 11 casinos around the UK. Players with apparent indicators of addiction were allowed to remain playing, and Caesars did not thoroughly vet significant clients’ sources of income. The UKGC used the record fee to fund its national plan to decrease gambling harm.
Along with Caesars’ record charge, the fine tracker noted several other major fines for operators globally. The UKGC fined Betway £11.6m ($15.6m) in total throughout the year.
In particular, anti-money laundering and social responsibility standards were broken by Betway’s VIP clients. According to the UKGC, Betway’s online gaming services facilitated the laundering of $7.8 million in criminal funds.
The SGA fined Kindred Group the third highest in 2020. This £8.3m ($11.2m) fine linked to the corporation giving unlawful incentives to Swedish gamers. BoyleSports Enterprise, GAN, NetBet, Mr Green, and GVC Australia were all fined.
VIP player techniques have been heavily scrutinized in recent years. The high rollers’ failures were a key factor for the hefty penalties handed out in 2020.
In October 2020, the UKGC adopted new rigorous VIP program administration guidelines. The new guidelines require gamers to submit to more thorough affordability tests before being classified as VIP.
The risk indicators were also expanded, and licensees must continually verify and monitor VIP players for gaming damage. A VIP program might be banned if operators do not clean up their behavior.
The SGA has also been stringent about player safety, especially during the COVID-19 epidemic. The regulators set tight weekly deposit, play time, and bonus limitations for online casinos. These regulations will stay in effect for now.