The UK Gambling Commission has publicly reprimanded bookmakers Coral and casino company Aspers over their role in a GBP 1 million money laundering crime that took place over an extended period of time. The money was wagered by a drug dealer based in Durham, and the dealer was later arrested for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
UK gambling laws are having a shake up at the moment, with the Gambling Commission taking on more responsibility as new licensing laws come in play, requiring online gambling sites to register and pay a point of consumption tax in the country. Land based casinos and bookmakers are therefore understandably worried about their future.
Coral, who also run an online casino in the UK, as well as sportsbook and bingo operations, were heavily reprimanded over the incidents, as – despite filing a Suspicious Activity Report – the bookies continued to accept bets from the individual, and even offered him a free trip to the races. Coral Racing Ltd. pocketed GBP 90k from the individual.
The commission also criticized both Coral and Aspers for leaving most of their Anti Money Laundering activities to shop-level staff, who needed to gain approval from head office for relatively small bets. Aspers were criticized for letting the individual gamble more than GBP 100k at their casino, running up losses in the 10’s of thousands.
Both businesses are coming under increased pressure from a rise in mobile casinos and sportsbooks, so it was no surprise when they fully co-operated with the commission, handing over more than GBP 100k between them to the commission and other bodies. Coral gave GBP 52k to the Responsible Gaming Trust, and GBP 35k to the commission, while Aspers handed over GBP 40k to the commission and appropriate charities.
None of which will do much to stem the tide of gamblers rushing to mobile platforms in an increasingly 24/7 online world.