Gala Coral has changed its anti money laundering (AML) and social responsibility (SR) policies in light of failings that have cost them close to £850,000. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) instigated the fine after discovering that Gala Coral failed to respond to a customer who deposited more than £800,000 into their casinos between 2012 and January 2015.
The matter was brought to light when the customer was jailed for three years. The UKGC described the matter as a widespread systematic fault with how Gala Coral handled its AMl. The new AML and SR policies will be enforced across all the online platforms of casinos run by Gala Coral, which includes Coral, Grosvenor Casinos and Gala Bingo.
AML Changes At Gala Coral
The UKGC's investigation uncovered that Gala Coral had failed to recognise customers who were at risk of breaching AML policies and lacked any sort of adequate inquiry into the source of high spending customers' funds.
Gala Coral's failure to adequately use account information and monitor customer behaviour to identify problem gamblers, were also brought to attention.
Since last year, Gala Coral have rectified the situation by returning the gross gambling yield of £846,000 to the persons that the wagered money was stolen from. Gala Coral have also taken major steps to improving their policies in how they handle AML and SR recognition and response.
A representative of Gala Coral expanded on what the policy changes would entail. “These improvements included new tools to enhance customer checks, increased headcount in our anti-money laundering team and improved training for retail and online customer-facing colleagues”.
Plans to submit SR and AML cases to a third party for review have also been added as part of the new procedures.
Industry Wide AML Crackdown
A string of major cases are starting to emerge as the UKGC has continued to crackdown of AML failings throughout the gambling industry. A recent voluntary fine was offered by Paddy Power as part of their failure to uphold their social responsibility policies. As part of the Gambling Act 2005, casino licences are dependent on a casino's ability to keep gambling crime-free.
UKGC Programme Director, Richard Watson, expressed in the light of the Gala Coral incident that, “We expect the industry will learn the lessons from this case, as it is their responsibility to keep crime out of gambling and protect vulnerable people from harm”.