Gibraltar’s HM Govt Levies Fines Worth £2.5m In Online Gambling Market

In its online gaming market, the HM Government of Gibraltar has levied penalties totalling £ 2.5 million, finding weak policies and controls relevant to ensuring AML security.

A ‘thematic review’ conducted by Gibraltar’s Gambling Division conducting risk evaluation of AML and enforcement duties follows the fines shared across the industry.

The Gambling Division acknowledged in its evaluation that operators had collaborated with its investigation to fix ‘generic system weaknesses that are common to more than one operator.’

However, though risk-based AML controls improved steadily, too many instances were reported by the Gambling Division where ‘risk tolerances were too great and the timing on interventions was too slow or ineffective’.

One case studied, detailed that many operators had handled money stolen from an employer by a person who had fraudulently forged documents and given false details about their source of funds.

The government of Gibraltar has warned betting management to heed its alert on AML duties in which operators must ensure that enhanced due diligence on customer verification and onboarding is carried out.

In order to track all player accounts and transactions, operators must also ensure that they have all the technological controls and device capabilities.

Meanwhile, as a key necessity in maintaining AML and social responsibility responsibilities, organisational and customer support teams must be qualified to a ‘commensurate level’.

Finally, in accordance with their duties under the Gibraltar Proceeds of Crime Act 2015, operators must report suspicious activity in a timely manner (POCA).

The government of Gibraltar announced that fine proceeds totalling £ 2.5 million will be allocated to the ‘Gibraltar Gambling Treatment Foundation’-to encourage the use of AML training programmes at the University of Gibraltar and their employees’ social responsibility.

The Gibraltar government, signing its declaration, warned of the seriousness of the results of the inquiry, despite the Gambling Division opting not to implement the supervisory powers of POCA.

“Executive teams under the supervision of their Boards should ensure that internal risk assessments and reviews in this area take full account of the Gambling Commissioner’s expectations in this important area.” The government underlined

“The fact that this matter has not proceeded to the enforcement stage under POCA supervisory powers in respect of any single issue, does not mean that these powers will not be utilised in the future and the wider industry should heed the learnings detailed in this thematic review.”