UKGC Fines Betfred £322k After Customer Deposits £210k of Stolen Money

  • Player who deposited stolen funds lost £140k ($171k) during a 12-day period in November 2017
  • Betfred continued to accept bets despite two source of funds requests being ignored
  • Betting giant has accepted the fine and made changes to its anti-money laundering policies
Money bag with the word 'fine' and the judge's hammer.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has hit Betfred with a £322,000 ($395,000) fine for violating anti-money laundering laws. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Betfred money laundering fine

Leafing online gambling operator, Petfre Limited (trading as Betfred), has fined £322,000 ($395,000) by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) over failures in its anti-money laundering policies.

As outlined in a statement issued by the UKGC, the total fine will be split into three portions. The financial penalty imposed on the company will be £182,000 ($223,000). The UKGC will use this money to accelerate the three-year National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

A total of £140,000 ($171,000) will be given to the victim who the deposited funds were stolen from. An additional £15,168.42 ($18,600) will go towards the UKGC’s investigation costs.

Betfred was in violation of license condition 12.1.1. It did not act as outlined by the License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) provision 2.1.2.

Petfre Limited has accepted this fine and the allegations regarding its anti-money laundering policies not being up to standard.

Significant system failures

The issuance of this fine follows a full investigation into the matter by the UKGC, with these offenses dating back to November 2017.

This anti-money laundering rule breach was only brought to the attention of the UKGC after it received information about a person who was using stolen money to gamble on several online gambling sites, including Betfred.

customer made deposits totaling £210,000 ($257,000) over the course of twelve days

The investigation concluded that Betfred did not execute the appropriate checks required of them in relation to the source of funds from significant deposits made in November 2017.

The same customer made deposits totaling £210,000 ($257,000) over the course of twelve days, losing £140,000 ($171,000) of it in the process.

It was discovered that the person depositing these funds was using stolen money. As the player was able to bypass the policies and systems within Betfred for anti-money laundering, this highlighted a serious problem.

The player in question has subsequently been convicted of stealing £2m ($2.45m) through fraud.

Learning from mistakes

The investigation highlighted concerns with the efficiency of Betfred’s policies, as well as its risk management in relation to the objectives of its UK operating license.

Following this incident, Betfred has been making changes to its anti-money laundering systems to try to prevent something similar happening again in the future.

The main issue Betfred had to rectify was not following up with the customer after the individual failed to respond to Betfred’s two source of funds requests. The player was still able to deposit and use £210,000 ($257,000) in stolen money despite failing to provide requested documents.

Similar incidents

In recent months, there have been similar fines for operators falling foul of anti-money laundering rules, including a £1.8m ($2.21m) fine for Silverbond Enterprises in September. Casino 36 was also fined £300,000 ($367,000) back in July.