InTouch Games Issued With UKGC £3.4m Fine
InTouch Games have been hit with another regulatory fine from the UK regulator. The Gambling Commission ordered the West Midland’s operator to pay £3.4m for multiple failings in responsible gaming measures and social responsibility.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has once again fined InTouch Games for failing to provide adequate safeguards in social responsibility and lacking anti-money laundering measures. In fining the company £3.4m, the regulator also found the company broke marketing rules.
The operator has nine brands that serve the UK, including; bonusboss, cashmo, mfortune, casino2020, drslot, mrspin, pocketwin and slotfactory and the regulator has ordered the operator to undergo a full audit to ensure improvements are made in its compliance procedures.
The regulator launched an investigation into the company after an assessment of their processes discovered social responsibility breaches. These include failing to interact with seven customers whose gambling activity displayed signs of problem gambling. The Commission stated that if the company had followed its policy on responsible gambling, consideration should have been given to placing mandatory limits on these customers.
The investigation found the company failed in its duty to prevent money laundering after failing to critically review Source of Funds information after requesting information from customers.
The UKGC found the company failed to comply with paragraphs 1 and 2 of SRCP 5.1.9 of their licence conditions when the Birmingham company stated that a bonus might be offered to customers who provided identification.
The operator was also found to have broken rules that govern the sending of text messages as Intouch Games had failed to disclose the minimum and maximum deposits on promotions and didn’t stipulate if a time-limit was in force for a bonus.
The Gambling Commission found InTouch Games had:
- Breached paragraph 1 and 3 of licence condition 12.1.1. AntiMoney Laundering (AML) – Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
- Breached paragraph 1 and 2 of Licence Condition 7.1.1 (Fair and transparent terms and practices)
- Failed to comply with paragraph 1 of social responsibility code provision (SRCP) 3.1.1 (Combating problem gambling)
- Failed to comply with paragraph 1(e) of SRCP 3.4.1 (Customer Interaction)
- Failed to comply with paragraphs 1 and 2 of SRCP 5.1.9 (Other marketing requirements)
- Failed to act in accordance with the principles of Ordinary code provision (OCP) 2.1.1 (Anti-money laundering)
Along with the £3.4m fine and an official warning, the Commission ordered InTouch Games to appoint independent advisors at their expense who must complete a full audit against the UKGC’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice. This condition has been placed on InTouch Games’ operating licence.
The UKGC’s executive director, Richard Watson, said of the Commission’s ruling:
Through our challenging compliance and enforcement activity, we will continue our work to raise standards in the industry and continue to hold failing operators to account.– Richard Watson, UKGC executive director.
InTouch Games responded to the verdict in a statement: “InTouch Games is disappointed with the regulatory sanction relating to historic matters in 2019, but is pleased that the Commission recognised at the conclusion that “considerable improvements” had been made since then.
“Going further than simply addressing the Commission’s criticisms, and with the external audit already in hand, InTouch Games has undertaken a full root and branch review of its corporate governance, including the creation of an externally chaired governance committee.
“In the context of social responsibility, it is hoped that the outcome of the consultation and call for evidence by the Commission will give further clarity to this vexed issue.”
The fine is the second financial penalty the Gambling Commission has issued to the company. In May 2019, they were fined £2.2m for failing to comply with money laundering and safer gambling policies.