UK Gambling Commission Fines Betting Site TonyBet
In the latest of a series of announcements of regulatory fines within the UK betting and gaming industry, it has been revealed that the UK Gambling Commission will issue a fine to the sports betting site TonyBet. The fine will amount to £442,750 and has been issued due to mistakes made by TonyBet in their processes and procedures in relation to anti-money loundering, social responsibility, and terms and conditions which were termed “unfair”.
The fine follows a review of the sports betting site’s operations and processes and its licence. According to the UK Gaming Commission, a number of conditions as per the licence were not adhered to, which necessitated the issue of the fine and an official warning. These are disposal methods available to the Commission for issues which are not of a serious nature and do not require to have the operator’s licence suspended.
TonyBet is an online sports betting, iGaming, and live casino operator licensed in the United Kingdom and Estonia. A trusted name in the sports betting industry, TonyBet has operated since 2011 and prides itself on its variety of betting markets and online gaming, excellent customer services, and advanced betting and gaming features. TonyBet features on our list of best betting sites for 2023 and you can read our Tonybet review of the bookmaker to find out more about what it offers.
The UK sports betting site was required to allow an audit by an independent third-party in order to establish whether the social responsibility and anti-money laundering processes implemented at the company meet the standard required by the UK Gambling Commission. One of the issues noted by the Commission was that TonyBet asked customers to provide identification documents before withdrawing their funds, even if such checks had already been carried out and successfully passed at an earlier stage. This practice, which appears to may have been over-zealousness on TonyBet’s part, was perceived as “unfair” by the Gambling Commission.
Another potential issue raised by the Commission was the provision in the terms and conditions of TonyBet that the company could confiscate customers’ winnings if they did not provide the required anti-money laundering evidence within 30 days. Another suggestion for improvement was the period after which TonyBet considered customer accounts dormant, which is 6 months compared to the standard 12 months of inactivity.
The Gambling Commission gave examples of areas where the bookmaker could make improvements in their processes. One of these was in the area of prevention of harmful gambling, and the Commission suggested that TonyBet could do more to identify customers at risk of harm and engage with them better once identified. This could be done through a review and change in the company’s social responsibility policies and practices.
In terms of another complex business area, anti-money laundering, the Gambling Commission suggested that the risk assessments carried out by the sports betting provider did not meet the standard expected to safeguard the business from being used for money laundering and financing of terrorism, and that more could be done to implement adequate policies, processes, and procedures in relation to preventing such activities.
The conclusion was that TonyBet had failed to meet some of its licence conditions, mainly in relation to anti-money laundering, measures for operators based in foreign jurisdictions, failure to report key events, and rules under the Social Responsibility Code of Practice. As such, the operator was imposed a fine and an official warning which would serve as a regulatory enforcement measure.
The UK Gambling Commission is responsible for regulating betting and gaming activities and sports operators in the country and ensuring that gambling providers operate fairly, safely, and responsibly. The news that TonyBet will be subjected to a fine comes after another announcement that the Gambling Commission reached a settlement with Vivaro Limited, operating as vbet, following issues with the way the sports betting provider operated in the United Kingdom. Similar issues were identified by the Commission, and areas of improvement also included social responsibility and anti-money laundering like in TonyBet’s case. As a result, Vivaro will pay £337,631, which will be donated to responsible gambling causes.
Speaking about the fine, the Gambling Commission’s Executive Director of Operations said Kay Roberts said:
“Not only does this case illustrate our drive to clamp down on anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures, but also highlights action we will take against gambling businesses who fail to be fair and open with customers.”
It is undoubted that TonyBet will take on board all findings of the Commission and will strive to improve its processes and procedures in order to meet the standards of the UK gambling industry more successfully.
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