Three time loser Intouch Games has been fined a swingeing £6.1 million (US$7.54m/€6.91m) by the UK’s regulatory Gambling Commission (UKGC) for serious money laundering and social responsibility failures.
In 2019 Intouch Games (ITG) shelled out £2.2 million (US$2.72m/€2.49m) for breaches of gambling law. In 2021 it was fined a further £3.4 million (US$4.2m/€3.85m) for additional failures.
And last March it again flunked a UKGC Compliance Assessment, which has resulted in this latest fine.
Currently based in Birmingham, England, and Bucharest, Romania, ITG operates 11 iGaming websites in the UK, among them: Bonusboss.co.uk, Drslot.co.uk, Cashmo.co.uk and Slotfactory.co.uk.
“Considering In Touch Games’ history of failings, we expected to see significant improvement when we carried out our planned compliance assessment,” announced GC Executive Director Kay Roberts.
“Disappointingly, although many improvements had been made, there was still more to do.
“This £6.1 million fine shows that we will take escalating enforcement action where failures are repeated, and all licensees should be acutely aware of this,” warned Roberts.
ITG was founded by Simon and Caroline Wilson and Emil Nestor in 2001. It was bought by the Skywind Group in June, last year, after the GC investigation, and currently employs around 500 people in the UK, Cyprus, Romania, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Among its recent responsible gambling shortfalls were: Not contacting a customer for almost two months after they had been flagged for erratic and ‘over-extended’ periods of play; not verifying players’ affordability levels and failing to respond to a number of money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment alarms.
Intouch Games did “not have policies, procedures and controls in place to address key risk factors,” said the UK Gambling Commission, which cited specific breaches of Licence Condition 12.1.1, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, in relation to anti-money laundering, and the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.
ITG was also found to have broken the Social Responsibility Code Provision, 3.4.1 Customer Interaction, paragraphs 1b, 1c and 2.
A source in the Skywind Group, who asked for anonymity, told iGamingFuture: “Of course we find this embarrassing. But this is a legacy matter, which we are determined not to repeat.”