The operating company behind the Casoola, Casino Cruise and Genesis Casino brands has been hit with a monumental £3.8 million fine over a series of responsible gambling breaches.
Genesis Global has admitted a catalogue of breaches to the regulator, which included allowing an NHS nurse – who they knew earned £30,000 a year – to wager more than £245,000 on their sites over the space of just three months.
They also failed to confirm the affordability of a customer that lost £234,000 in just six weeks, and another who wagered nearly £200,000 in less than six months.
The Gambling Commission also hit out at Genesis’ incompetence in tackling anti money-laundering. They allowed one customer to wager £209,000 with them because he earned £111,000 as a company director – before it was later revealed that the business the individual claimed to work for was dormant.
Another player at a Genesis-operated site was able to deposit an eye-watering £1.3 million into their account without any form of affordability check being implemented. To make matters worse, when they finally got round to processing a source of funds check, the same customer revealed a bank account into which they had paid just £23,000 while paying out £27,000.
After learning of the regulatory breaches, the Commission suspended Genesis’ UK licence in July while they performed a full investigation, eventually lifting the sanction again in October.
Now, the firm has been hit with the fine and a warning as to its future conduct, and it has been told to improve its auditing measures or face further penalties in the future.
The executive director of the Gambling Commission, Helen Venn, issued a warning to other brands, claiming that such breaches of licensing conditions will not be accepted.
“All gambling businesses should pay very close attention to this case,” she said. “The Commission will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety, and that extends to stopping a business from actually operating.”
“Failing to follow rules aimed at keeping gambling safe and crime-free will never be a viable business option for gambling businesses in Britain.”
Growing Rap Sheet After Swedish Sanctions
This isn’t the first time that Genesis Global has attracted the ire of regulators worldwide.
In 2019 they were fined not once but twice by the Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen. The first came after a number of self-excluded players at Genesis’ sites complained that they were still able to log in and bet – a fine of approximately £320,000 was imposed on such a clear and dangerous welfare breach.
And just three months later, Genesis Global were once again hauled in front of the authorities after Spelinspektionen found they had breached agreed rules on the provision of welcome bonuses. They were fined £133,000.
However, Genesis complained about the severity of the fine from the first decision, and an appeal court agree to reduce their penalty to just £79,000.
Spelinspektionen has appealed a decision from a Swedish court to reduce penalties against Genesis Global and Aspire Global’s AG Communications, arguing that the decision was of “decisive importance” to its power to issue appropriate penalties in general.
— iGB (@iGamingBusiness) June 21, 2021