A recent report by gambling compliance tracker GamblingIndustryFines has revealed that gambling operator fines in 2020 rose to over £44M. This was a 175% increase from the fines given out in 2019 to operators from some of the world’s strictest regulatory bodies.
Large fines in the first quarter
2020 hasn’t been the best year for most but some operators got off to a very rocky start back in January. Take, Blackrock Media, for example, they were given a £2M fine by the Malta Gaming Authority in January 2020. This was due to servicing unauthorized transactions.
Also in the first quarter, Kindred Group received a SEK 100 million (£8.5M) fine from the Swedish Gambling Authority. This was due to their mistake in offering financial incentives which breached the new gambling legislation set out by this authority in Sweden. However, CEO of Kindred Group, Henrik Tjärnström noted his disappointment in the authority for their lack of guidance on new regulations.
Tjärnström said: “The SGA has not managed to clarify the law and instead left it to the Swedish courts to determine the issues that have arisen as a result of the SGA’s actions to issue warnings and sanction fees to licensed operators, while at the same time doing little to stop unlicensed operators from targeting Swedish customers.”
Rounding off 2020
As the year went on, more operators fell victim to regulatory breaches for a number of reasons. Some were due to social responsibility failures while others were due to issues regarding anti money laundering failures.
Caesar’s Entertainment UK received huge sanctions in 2020 which totalled £13M. The UK Gambling Commission noted failings in social responsibility and in money laundering for this brand.
Additionally, NetBet Enterprises Limited failed to comply with two license conditions and so faced large fines in 2020. NetBet was asked to pay a fine of £748,000 to progress the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms as a result of their breach.
With more operators than ever before receiving fines, it goes without saying that gambling regulatory bodies across Europe are clamping down. With 2021 just around the corner, operators and affiliates must stay in line with updated regulations, regardless of which country they are operating in.