The operating company behind Admiral Casino and Bell Fruit Casino has been handed a hefty fine by the UK Gambling Commission for a series of licence breaches.
Greentube Alderney will have to pay £685,000 to settle their bill with the regulator, after an investigation revealed the firm was liable for a host of social responsibility and anti-money laundering breaches between December 2019 and the following November.
They have also had to agree to hand over their books for independent auditing in the wake of the failures, which included a failure to interact with customers showing clear signs of problem gambling behaviour and inadequate assessment of instances where money laundering was possible. Greentube instead relied upon 30-day £1,000 loss ‘triggers’ to warn them of problem gambling, rather than proactively monitoring the staking patterns of individual players.
The Commission also found that Greentube did not ‘have in place and implement appropriate policies, procedures and controls to prevent money laundering’, and that an unspecified ‘event’ that had a significant impact on the firm’s behind-the-scenes operations was not reported effectively.
It has also been claimed that the company allowed an unnamed ‘politically exposed’ individual to deposit up to £1,000 a time without any background checks being performed.
The £685,000 fine will be paid to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms fund, and it was only three mitigating factors – the steps Greentube took to remedy the situation, their co-operation throughout the investigation and their early recognition of their failings – that prevented the punishment from being more severe.
The regulator’s executive director, Helen Venn, said:
“Compliance with Commission rules aimed at keeping people safe and gambling crime free is not optional. We will always take firm action against those operators who fail to meet the high standards we expect for consumers in Britain.”
It should be noted that Greentube has not had their licence suspended, and so players at Admiral Casino and Bell Fruit Casino can continue to log in and play their favourite games as normal with confidence.
Taking Their Eye Off the Ball?
While the Commission investigation dates back more than a year, you wonder if Greentube had momentarily lost focus amid expansion plans in the USA.
Not the first European firm to eye inroads into the growing North American market, Greentube – via their subsidiary Novomatic – have since penned a deal with the Golden Nugget Online Gaming group, providing their software and games for the brand’s New Jersey facing platform.
It marks the debut of Greentube across the Atlantic, although CFO Michael Bauer has recently confirmed that further rollout plans are taking shape.
“The US offers unparalleled potential, and is a key territory for us going forward as regulation continues to make headway across different states,” he said.
“We see this market entry as a first and very important step into the US market and are preparing ourselves for future launches in Michigan and Pennsylvania as well.”
Meanwhile, the firm hasn’t completely lost sight of their European customer base, and they are already making strides in the newly-regulated market in the Netherlands.
They have already integrated their software with Finnplay, and now Greentube has hooked up with a second brand – Fair Play Casino. Only a select few have been picked for a licence in Holland, and so they have already cornered a significant proportion of the market there.