BoyleSports Gets Regulatory Slap in UK over Poor AML Controls

Irish bookmaker BoyleSports is the latest operator to have received a regulatory slap from the UK Gambling Commission as the regulator is taking a tougher line to action against violations of UK gambling rules and regulations.

News emerged this week that the gambling operator has been slapped with a £2.8 million fine over money laundering prevention failings and poor money laundering risk assessment. The Gambling Commission has also attached a slew of tougher conditions to BoyleSports’ license.

The regulator spotted a series of violations and failings during an investigation into BoyleSports’ online gambling activities in the UK. The Commission discovered that the operator had failed to implement proper money laundering risk assessment and that its anti-money laundering policies, procedures, and controls were unsuitable and “could not be implemented effectively.”

The regulatory probe further found that BoyleSports failed to comply with provisions of the Money Laundering Regulations. The Gambling Commission said that its investigation covered BoyleSports’ and websites.

BoyleSports is the latest major gambling operator to have been hit with a fine in the UK over money laundering shortcomings. In March, the UK Gambling Commission issued a record £11.6 million fine to online gambling operator Betway over similar violations. It shortly after slapped an even heftier £13 million fine on Caesars Entertainment, which runs land-based casinos around the UK, yet again for weaknesses in its anti-money laundering practices.

Tougher License Conditions

Aside from the hefty penalty, BoyleSports also had tougher conditions placed on its license from the UK Gambling Commission. Under one of these conditions, the operator will have to maintain the appointment of an “appropriately qualified Money Laundering Reporting Officer” who will have to hold a Personal Management Licence from the Gambling Commission.

The individual will have to undertake annual refresher training in anti-money laundering and be able to evidence their training to the regulator.

In addition, BoyleSports will be expected to ensure that all Personal Management Licence holders, senior company management, and key control staff undertake outsourced anti-money laundering training and undertake outsourced refresher training every year thereafter.

BoyleSports must also continue to review the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering policies and practices and implement more effective ones when and if needed.

News about BoyleSports’ fine emerge as the UK gambling industry braces for a review of the Gambling Act 2005 that was expected to be announced in the coming weeks, but is now rumored to have been pushed back to 2021.

Reports emerged earlier this week that the top civil servant at the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports has said the review of the nation’s gambling laws, which has garnered cross-party support, is “not imminent.”

The review, when finally launched, is expected to introduce curbs on gambling advertising and sports sponsorship as well as a cap on online gambling spend and online stake limits, among other measures.

Flutter Entertainment CEO, Peter Jackson, said earlier this week that a review is “badly needed” and that the Government and industry stakeholders should “get the balance right” so they can build a “much better industry which commands the support of its customers – and also wider society too.”

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