Online gambling operators 32Red and Platinum Gaming – both part of Kindred Group – have been fined £7.1 million for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures, the Gambling Commission said.
32 Red Limited, which runs 32red.com, will pay £4,195,655 and Platinum Gaming Limited, which runs unibet.co.uk, will pay £2,937,599.
Both have also received an official warning following the Gambling Commission investigation.
32Red’s social responsibility failures included failing to identify customers at risk of harm based on their session times, and not having effective enough controls to identify and protect potential problem gamblers.
Some self-excluded or blocked customers were able to register on Platinum Gaming after being blocked or self-excluded on the 32Red platform, and Platinum Gaming also failed to identify and interact with customers who may have been experiencing harm.
Gambling Commission Kay Roberts said: “These failures highlight clearly that both operators failed to interact with customers in a way which minimises the risk of them experiencing harms associated with gambling.
“Our investigations also showed that policies and procedures were overlooked, both around customer accounts and anti-money laundering practices.
“Ultimately, it is an example which all gambling operators should take notice of to ensure they protect customers at all times.”
Kindred Group chief executive Henrik Tjarnstrom said: “While we accept the outcome, and the acknowledgment that we have already taken significant steps to strengthen our processes, we also recognise that we need to work even harder to ensure a safe and compliant business.
“We appreciate the Commission’s clear recognition that our operations are in an improving position and that we remain fit to hold an operating licence.
“Our commitment to reducing gambling harm across our platforms is a key part of our ‘journey towards zero’ ambition – and we are redoubling our efforts to ensure we continue that progress.”
“This is just one of a series of fines for the Kindred group and a paltry £7.1 million, compared with their massive profits, will not make them change.
“We need to see licences revoked and gambling industry execs held responsible for such abuses, and an end to the mass advertising that is normalising these harmful gambling companies.”