Thursday, October 29, 2020

Danish Gambling Regulator Warns Online Casino Operator, 888 Holdings for Lax Anti-Money Laundering Controls

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Denmark’s gambling regulator has expressed concerns about 888 Holding’s lackadaisical approach in implementing the anti-money laundering measures and not honoring the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Act.

The gambling regulator issued a formal warning mandating the operator to mend its ways or be ready for punitive actions. The country’s gambling regulatory body Spillemyndigheden ordered 888 Denmark Ltd to ensure full compliance with the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Act.

In the warning issued, the gambling regulator has alleged that 888’s Denmark facing subsidiary has not been complying with certain sections of the act. The particular section puts the responsibility on the gambling operator to report suspicious transactions and all such financial activities to the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime.

The section in question explicitly mentions that it requires the companies to “investigate unusually large transaction patterns and activities which do not have a clear economic or demonstrable legal purpose.”

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However, it also says that companies have to report transactions when they have “knowledge, suspicion or reasonable reason” to suspect.

What Prompted The Warning

The warning came after the gambling regulator observed that a gambler deposited over DKK1m (US$148k) in a span of about 90 days in which over 50 percent of the funds were deposited in just a matter of days.

The regulator found that 888 just casually googled customer info without doing and prompt and procedural background checks. The gambling regulator said that the operator was merely ticking the box by going the internet route to seek information about the customer.

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Further, the customer also did not provide any source of funds (SOF) documentation to 888 and he was allowed to wager regardless. The warning came after the operator did not report it to the concerned authority and went on with business as usual for over one month.

Denmark Strict On Money Laundering

Earlier in the year in March, Denmark introduced a new code for the country’s gambling industry.

To tighten its noose around money-laundering and illegal practices at casinos Spillemyndigheden also introduced a new Whistleblower scheme to protect employees reporting corrupt practices at casinos and gambling companies.

The new scheme allows the employees of gambling operators to approach the gambling regulator directly through a dedicated section on their website. The gambling authority promises to protect the identities of the whistleblowers.

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