‘InTouch’ in Hot Water: iGaming Tech Giant fined over £6 million

'InTouch in Hot Water' iGaming tech firm fined over breach of regulations
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In a startling revelation, the UK Gambling Commission has unearthed that the gambling platform, InTouch Games, fell short in a compliance assessment conducted in March 2022, and is set to dish out yet another punishment to the ‘infamous’ Tech Company.

InTouch Games

InTouch Games, founded in 2001, is a multi-award-winning iGaming tech company which houses over 8 successful casinos, including ‘Jammy Monkey, BonusBoss, and Dr Slot, among others. The company has 3 offices around the world, which include London, Romania, and Taiwan.

The company’s breaches include failures in social responsibility and anti-money laundering compliances.

Licensing objectives

Regulated casinos with the UK Gambling Commission are required to adhere to three specific licensing objectives:

  • Persons under 18 years of age, and other vulnerable people, should be protected from harmful behaviour caused by gambling.
  • Gambling should be conducted in a fair and open way.
  • Criminal activity, in any form, should be removed as far as possible from gambling.

On top of these social responsibility objectives, the gambling commission also has licence conditions which are designed to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. In light of these conditions, licensees must conduct an ongoing assessment of the risks of their business being used for such illegal activity. This must be completed in the light of any changes of circumstances to the business, for example, the introduction of new products and new payment methods, or changes to customer demography.

Following the completion of such checks, licensees must ensure they have appropriate policies, procedures and controls to prevent money laundering. Furthermore, it must be ensured that these procedures are implemented effectively, and revised appropriately to make sure they remain effective.

Unfortunately for InTouch Games, they failed to comply with such objectives.

Failure to meet these conditions

In relation to social responsibility, the company did not interact with a customer until almost 2 months after they had been flagged for erratic playing behaviour. They also blindly accepted a customer’s statement that they earned £6,000 a month, despite the customer’s account being used erratically and during unsociable hours. 

In relation to anti-money laundering failures, it was found that InTouch Games did not have policies in place to address high-risk factors. This included not taking account of a customer being a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, along with having links to high-risk jurisdictions (a politically exposed person or a family member being involved within its money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment). 

A Repeat Offender

While the implications sound pretty severe for a UKGC-regulated gambling group, this is not the first time InTouch games have failed in their licensee obligations.

Previous regulatory failures resulted in a £2.2 million settlement being paid out in 2019, along with another fine of £3.4 million and a warning in 2021. 

The UK Gambling Commission’s Director of Operations, Kay Roberts, said;

“Considering this operator’s history of failings we expected to see significant improvement when we carried out our planned compliance assessment. Disappointingly, although many improvements had been made, there was still more to do.

“This £6.1m fine shows that we will take escalating enforcement action where failures are repeated and all licensees should be acutely aware of this.”

No Tolerance

The UKGC has implemented a stringent monitoring approach to online licences under the leadership of Andrew Rhodes in recent years and has seen 32 enforcement settlements since the director took office in the summer of 2021. 

The no-tolerance punishments handed out to InTouch Games over the past number of years should serve as a fierce warning for any gambling company that thinks they can behave unethically in the UK Gambling market.

 

Resources:

UK Gambling Commission

Intouch Games

 

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Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson
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Peter is our Editor-in-Chief at Gamblingauthority. He has more than eigth years of experience from the iGaming industry and is a valuable resource for everything related to online casinos.

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