Featured in this article:
  • Two UK casinos fined for breaching Social Responsibility Code
  • US casinos and sportsbooks can also be fined for breaches
  • AGA's Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct aims to keep casinos in line

3 Minute Read

The UK's Social Responsibility Code was recently breached by two casinos

American online casinos may be taking note of a ruling in the UK that has found two companies in breach of the country’s Social Responsibility Code for online gambling.

An investigation from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) found Rank Digital Gaming, trading as bellacasino.com, grosnovercasino.com, meccabingo.com and messagames.com, and Annexio, trading as lottogo.com, failed on their social responsibilities in regards to customers.

Rank Digital Gaming has been ordered to pay a $944,000 regulatory settlement for “social responsibility failures.

This included failure to comply with the Social Responsibility Code over customer interaction between Oct. 2019 and Feb. 2021, and in regard to identifying individual customers over a nine-month period. 

Annexio has been fined $825,000 on a charge that also includes “money laundering failures”. Reports claim the company breached its Licence Condition “in relation to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing”.

It has been confirmed that the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms will receive the settlement money.

“We expect high standards from operators to ensure gambling in Britain is safe and crime-free,” said Helen Venn, Gambling Commission Executive Director. “Those businesses that fail to meet these standards will find themselves facing costly regulatory action.”

What US Can Learn From Such Breaches

The fines are small-fry compared to the size of some settlements that are put to gambling firms across the world. But these are the sort of cases American casinos and sportsbooks are likely to tale note from.

After all, the US is expanding its online gaming capacity to now cover more than 30 states, and with it has come an increased awareness of the social responsibility gambling firms possess.

The American Gaming Association’s Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct outlines how members must:

  • Promote responsible gambling
  • Prevent underage gambling
  • Serve alcohol responsibly
  • Advertise responsibly

Meanwhile, it has set up the Have A Game Plan initiative – backed by casinos, sports teams and software providers – which helps those struggling with gambling addiction.

Unfortunately, problem gambling will always be an issue for some, and operators that fail to spot problematic betting patterns, fail to protect players, and fail to block money laundering activities face fines and even threats to their licences.

Last year the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) warned online sportsbooks that they would be fined if they continued to ask players to reverse payment withdrawals.

In 2019 Iowa’s Racing and Gaming Commission fined the The Wild Rose Casino in Jefferson and the William Hill sportsbook $20,000 each for mistakenly leaving two betting machines on, while a person was able to use the sports betting app without in-person registration.

These sorts of small-level fines are likely to become more commonplace in America, as they are in the UK. And each one serves as a reminder to casinos, sportsbooks and software operators of the social responsibilities they must adhere to.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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