A report by gambling compliance tracker website GamblingIndustryfines.com has revealed that European and UK gambling regulators issued over £24m / €28.1m / $33m in fines during the first quarter of 2021.
The detailed report by GamblingIndustryfines.com also reveals that Q1 fines for 2021 exceeded the total fines for both Q1 and Q2 of 2020.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) and the Netherlands’ Kansspelautoriteit issued sanctions to thirteen online and land-based gambling operators in Q1 of 2021. These sanctions included both financial penalties and warnings.
The UKGC issued the largest financial sanction of 2021 to date when it fined online firm Casumo £6m / €7m / $8.2m for breaching anti-money laundering rules and failing to implement responsible gambling measures for its players.
Other gambling companies that received financial penalties included Clockfair, Shaftesbury Casino, Les Croupiers Casino, Double Diamond Gaming, White Hat Gaming, Virtual Coin Gaming, Hajper Ltd, ComeOn Sweden, Casinostugan, and Hillside Sports.
The key reasons for regulatory sanctions were:
- Anti money-laundering (AML) failings
- Social responsibility failings
- Offering odds on a matches featuring underage players
- Offering bonuses that breached local gaming laws
- Failure to place limits on accounts where players were overspending
- Operating unlicensed domains
- Failure to identify customers at risk of gambling related harm
This apparent increase in scrutiny by gambling authorities could see 2021 become a record-breaking year with regards to fines.