BoyleSports Fined £2.8m by the UK Gambling Commission Over AML Failures

  • BoyleSports broke anti-money laundering (AML) rules at two of its websites
  • The operator also received an official warning and tougher license conditions
  • New license conditions include mandatory, regular AML training for high-level staff
  • UKGC is on a mission to clamp down on operators that have sub-par AML standards
BoyleSports betting shop
The UK Gambling Commission has fined BoyleSports £2.8m for anti-money laundering violations, imposing stricter requirements on the company going forward. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Not up to scratch

Following an investigation, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has fined BoyleSports Enterprise £2.8m ($3.7m) for a number of anti-money laundering failures. 

The UKGC decided on October 26 that the gambling operator broke anti-money laundering (AML) rules on its BoyleSports Casino and BoyleSports websites. In addition to the financial penalty and an official warning, the Commission has installed stricter conditions as part of the operator’s licensing requirements.

During the investigation, the UKGC discovered that BoyleSports did not have appropriate money laundering risk assessments in place, nor were the company’s AML policies, controls, and procedures suitable, meaning that there could be no effective implementation of these measures. BoyleSports was also not complying with certain aspects of the Money Laundering Regulations. 

there will be tough action taken against any operators who do not comply with the relevant rules

Speaking about these violations in Wednesday’s announcement, UKGC executive director Richard Watson touched upon the importance of gambling operators having effective AML procedures and policies in place. He also emphasized that there will be tough action taken against any operators who do not comply with the relevant rules. 

New license conditions

As part of the regulatory action against BoyleSports Enterprise, new conditions will be added to its license. One such condition relates to having a qualified Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) in place who has a Personal Management License (PML). This person will have to attend annual AML refresher training and provide evidence of said training to the UKGC.

BoyleSports must also ensure that all of its PML holders, key control staff, and senior management undergo outsourced AML training. Annual refresher training courses will be necessary thereafter. In addition, the company will be subject to continual review for the effectiveness and use of AML procedures, policies, and controls. 

Raising standards

The UKGC is on a mission to improve standards in the gambling sector, with a particular focus on AML and social responsibility issues among operators. In October, the UKGC issued fines totaling £2.9m ($3.8m) to NetBet Enterprises, BGO Entertainment, and GAN for these types of offenses. 

five operators had their licenses suspended

In its most recent reporting year ended March 2020, the UKGC handed out fines of more than £30m ($39.7m) to operators. Five operators had their licenses suspended, while 11 lost their licenses during this period. 

With the UK government planning to conduct a review of the Gambling Act of 2005, the UKGC wants to work hand-in-hand with them to make effective changes. Last week, the UKGC published its first-ever National Strategic Assessment, outlining the regulator’s priorities going forward, including mention of the upcoming legislative review.