Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Owner of Betting exchange Matchbook fined $915,000 over anti-money laundering failures

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The owner of Matchbook, a betting exchange operated by the Cork-based technology firm Xanadu Consultancy, has been fined £740,000 (€845,000) over “serious failings” with its approach to measures including stopping money laundering.

Triplebet, a Guernsey-based firm which owns Matchbook’s UK licence, received the fine following an investigation by the Gambling Commission. The findings in the UK do not affect its ability to offer betting services in Ireland.

According to Xanadu’s website, Matchbook – which counts Xanadu co-founder Mark Brosnan as its chief executive – manages “billions of dollars worth of transactions”.

The investigation found failings in Triplebet’s approach to anti-money laundering, the monitoring of business relationships and due diligence checks into members of gambling syndicates. Serious shortcomings were also found in the operator’s approach to social responsibility.

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According to the Gambling Commission, there were several cases where customers had been permitted to gamble large sums without any source of funds or checks on source of wealth. In one example, a customer put at risk over £2m in a single day without these checks being required.

The commission said one of Triplebet’s main customers was a syndicate, whose lead contributor was a professional gambler and “also held a beneficial interest in Triplebet itself”. Over 18 months, from November 2016, the syndicate matched bets on the Matchbook exchange totalling over $55m (€51m) without any documented risk assessment.

Triplebet said it had implemented all of the recommendations of a compliance consultant it appointed last year and is committed to upholding all regulations. It added it was excited about relaunching for its UK customers.

(£1 = $1.24)

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