The Gambling Commission has ramped up enforcement. Multi-million pound fines have been handed out where financial crime and social responsibility controls aren’t up to scratch. Gaming firms have lost their licences, as have some Personal Licence Holders (PML), as the Commission turns its focus to the behaviour of the senior management team. Outside of the Commission, the Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry, have been considering whether gambling operators have a legal duty of care to their customers.
Lessons learnt from financial services can help gaming firms avoid some of the mistakes banks made. No-one wants the ‘bash-a-banker’ experience, post the 2007 crash, to become ‘bash-a-bookie’.
Helping gambling firms with financial crime regulation
At Bovill we have a very strong background in financial crime regulation, supporting firms as they comply with 4MLD and prepare for the forthcoming 5MLD rules. We help firms satisfy regulatory requirements by:
- Undertaking an assessment of the AML risks
- Assessing AML systems and controls
- Designing and implementing new AML policies, procedures and governance frameworks
- Reviewing transaction monitoring processes and systems
- Designing and delivering AML training
- Advising on appropriate MI for senior management
- Preparing for supervisory visits.
Advising on social responsibility and broader regulation
We also bring our 20 year experience in financial services regulation to help firms address their social responsibility, and wider regulatory requirements.
Governance and culture
There is a clear expectation that senior management will ensure that firms act within their license requirements, and adhere to the regulations. The Commission expects PML holders to act with due care, skill and diligence, and treat customers fairly. These requirements are very similar in concept to the FCA’s Senior Managers Regime (SM&CR). This is a structured approach to establishing key responsibilities within organisations. We’re currently helping firms outside of FCA regulation to apply the principles of SMCR, as it is a very useful framework to promote good governance.
We help clients in the gaming sector develop an appropriate approach to vulnerable customers, which they can integrate into day-to-day operations. Any issues can then be identified early on, and at points throughout the customer lifecycle.
Whether for KYC reasons, self-exclusion or suitability, there are clear reasons why some customers should not be permitted to gamble on your site. Our work on ‘appropriateness and suitability’ in the investment sector and the emerging Contracts for Difference market gives us a wealth of experience on how the right level of checks can be built into the process, to ensure the right kind of customers come on board.
Our Client Money team are technical experts who have assisted a wide range of firms in managing their segregation, disclosure and reporting requirements. We can help gambling firms protect their customer funds.
In the run-up to the rule change we assisted a wide range of firms in developing their GDPR systems and processes. And we continue to help firms now, as they refine and develop their framework. Our focus is on measured and appropriate solutions which work with the firm’s infrastructure.