BUSINESS

Kindred Group pays £1.6m after UK customer bet with stolen funds

TAGs: kindred group, UK Gambling Commission

kindred-group-uk-gambling-commission-settlementOnline gambling operator Kindred Group has agreed to pay £1.6m after a UK gambling regulatory probe found one of its customers had gambled with stolen funds.

On Thursday, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced that Kindred subsidiary Platinum Gaming Ltd (PGL), under which Kindred’s flagship brand Unibet is licensed, had agreed to return over £629k to the victims of one of its customers, while paying over £990k in lieu of a financial penalty to the UKGC.

The UKGC probe began after it received information that an unnamed individual had been convicted for stealing £2m and losing much of it to several gambling operators, including PGL. The UKGC said PGL’s customer made “large deposits” and incurred “significant losses in a very short period of time.”

The customer was registered as a PGL VIP within two days of first opening his/her account, and engaged in high-volume, often frenetic gambling activity that the UKGC maintains PGL should have identified as problem gambling behavior and taken steps to address.

The UKGC also found that PGL had neglected to conduct the necessary due diligence on the source of this customer’s funds. PGL submitted a suspicious activity report on the customer but didn’t immediately ask for additional information and allowed the customer to continue gambling.

The UKGC credited PGL with eventually closing the customer’s account and acknowledging its shortcomings “at an early stage” of the UKGC’s probe. The UKGC said it declined to put PGL’s license under review after determining that this was an “isolated incident” and PGL had since made “clear improvements” in its practices.

PGL’s spanking came just 24 hours after online gambling operator Gamesys agreed to pay £1.2m to resolve a UKGC probe into similar shenanigans. The UKGC is currently conducting other probes and exec director Richard Watson warned other licensees to carefully study its recent disciplinary actions “to learn lessons so they don’t make the same mistakes.”

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