The Gambling Commission has hit Silverbond Enterprises, owners of The Park Lane Club -a private members club and casino based in London, with a £1.8 m fine for failures in its processes of social responsibility and anti-money laundering.
Silverbond’s problems with the Commission date back as far as 2016, when a review of Silverbond’s license was launched by the regulator, which resulted in extra license requirements being imposed to tackle money laundering failings.
Following the review, the Commission conducted further inspections in 2018, discovering that many of the top 250 customers of the club’s casino did not receive enhanced due diligence checks.
According to the Commission, sophisticated due diligence controls were required by the inner compliance team of Silverbond, but casino employees permitted players to continue gambling. It was also found that Silverbond did not provide details on the quantity of money laundering checks required and that the company had failed to keep accurate records of the Money Laundering Reporting Officer’s activities.
In total, 491 clients have triggered economic triggers requiring improved due diligence to be finished, yet these controls have not been finished for 61 of these clients in question.
Further failures in client communication have been observed. The Commission found instances including a client showing violent behavior-including threatening the club’s staff -a customer who requested that his winnings be transferred to his private bank account in order to avoid him from playing further and a client proposing that the maximum sum that could be deposited by cheque be increased.
In each case the regulator noted “insufficient recorded detail or rationale of whether the customer was suffering gambling related harm.”
In May 2018, Siverbond was informed by the Commission informed that it was starting a review of its operating license and considering the information gathered during the review, it opted to impose a £1.8 m fine, a warning and additional conditions of licence.
The conditions include periodic training requirements assessment of all employees, ensuring that all employees undertake outsourced anti-money laundering training and ensuring that external auditors conduct an autonomous audit of the present top 250 clients within the next six months.