Tip-off of convicted fraudster causes Betfred to pay £322,000

Betfred has been fined a £322,000 regulatory settlement package from the UK Gambling Commission after a tip-off has revealed that a person convicted of fraud had been spending stolen money through several gambling operators.

The case has concerned Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited, trading as Betfred, holder of a combined remote operating licence, has been found to have failures in its anti-money laundering protocols.

An investigation surrounding the matter has been launched following information that has been passed to the Commission regarding a customer that had been convicted of a £2m fraud, who it was said was spending stolen money through several operators, including Petfre.

Subsequently it has been found that the customer had opened multiple gambling accounts in a very short period of time, making large deposits and experiencing significant losses. In respect of Petfre, over a 12-day period in November 2017 he has deposited £210,000 to go on and loose £140,000.

In a regulatory statement the UKGC explained: “The management of this customer in relation to anti-money laundering raised significant concerns regarding the effectiveness of the policies and procedures that Petfre had in place, and its management of risks to the licensing objectives. Since this incident Petfre has made improvements to its AML procedures to prevent a recurrence of the failings.”

It was then added that operator policies had led the firm to request a source of funds of two occasions during the month in question, which were duly failed to be provided.

This resulted in the two significant deposits, which the UKGC stated “clearly indicated failings in the effectiveness of Petfre’s policies and procedures”.

Petfre has then come to acknowledge and accept shortcomings in the application of its AML controls and its policies and procedures, while also accepting that it failed to act in accordance with the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice, and the Commissions advice to operators, titled Duties and Responsibilities under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Petfre is to divest itself of the gross gambling yield of £140,000 it has received as a result of the gambling, with the money in question to be returned to the victim.

Furthermore, a payment in lieu of a financial penalty of £182,000 is also to be made, which is going to be directed to speed up the delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, with an additional £15,168.42 to be paid towards the Commission’s investigative costs.

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