And Again: UK Tells Online Operator White Hat Gaming to Cough Up £1.3 Million for Customer Protection Breaches
White-label casino operator White Hat Gaming has now seen the details of a £1.3 million ($1.782 million) settlement it reached with UK regulators last month.
The above sum will be paid towards various problem gambling charities under the umbrella of the UK’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
White Hat Gaming is a global white label casino service run from London, UK. It employs over 300 people in five international offices and provides the platform to 100+ different online casino sites.
However, that success doesn’t mean the ever-present British regulator, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, is willing to look past indiscretions.
We’ve talked a lot about the UKGC and its willingness to dish out fines, but this is a big one to one of the country’s largest operators.
Just last year, several operators stopped accepting customers from the UK, including all but one of Swedish operator Betsson’s online casinos.
Many of them cited “regulatory framework changes” as a reason for their departure from the market.
However, in this case, it was quite clear that the operator had not taken due procedures for customers who lose a lot of money.
White Hat Gaming did not identify several customers who showed tell-tale signs of problem gambling or money laundering activity.
The UKGC singled out three specific cases of note. They all occurred between October 2016 and March 2019, and the investigation began on January 16, 2021.
During that time frame, one customer gambled away £70,000 ($95,987) in a month. Another spent £85,000 – or over $115,000 – in just one hour.
In neither case were the customers contacted with a prompt to check either their source of income or income level. Such high-value transactions from an account not before associated with high levels can be a sign that something is wrong.
However, White Hat did not take the opportunity to speak to its customers on these occasions.
A third player who lost £50,000 in six hours was contacted by White Hat in some fashion, but the regulator deemed the communication “inefficient and ineffective” given the amount of money deposited.
“Through our tough compliance and enforcement activity we will continue our work to raise standards in the industry and continue to hold failing operators to account,” said Richard Watson, the UKGC’s Executive Director.
In addition to the voluntary settlement (a fine in all but name), White Hat Gaming committed to improving its systems in the future.
They “fully cooperated with the investigation and took proactive steps to ensure all findings were addressed and recommendations implemented,” according to an official company statement.
They also said they recognized the UKGC’s desire to publicly reveal the report’s conclusion, even though one might suspect they would rather have kept it quiet.
“WHG recognises the importance of publicising the findings of regulatory investigations to assist the wider industry in learning from any shortcomings and to assist in the general improvement of the regulatory compliance of the industry as a whole”WHG official statement
For the latest updates on the UKGC’s activities, plus much more from the world of online casino gaming, keep checking our pages!