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Skill On Net Limited Faces £305,150 Regulatory Action

Britain's Gambling Commission has imposed a penalty of £305,150 (€350,351/$378,299) on online casino operator and platform SkillOnNet due to a series of failures related to anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility measures.

Instead of a financial penalty, SkillOnNet has agreed to make the payment, which will be directed towards socially responsible causes, as part of a settlement agreement with the regulator.

A regulatory review conducted by the Gambling Commission covering the period from January 2021 to December 2022 revealed multiple instances where SkillOnNet failed to comply with Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).

The review found that SkillOnNet had insufficient policies, procedures, and controls in place to fulfill its AML responsibilities. There were also deficiencies in the operator's responsible gambling policies and practices, including weaknesses in implementation.

Regarding AML failings, the Gambling Commission identified specific breaches of licence conditions. SkillOnNet's risk assessment did not adequately consider payments received from unknown or unassociated third parties, and it failed to properly assess the risks posed by organized crime groups and mule accounts.

Additionally, the operator relied on customer declarations without appropriate procedures to consider the customers' income or wealth, resulting in an inability to identify disproportionate spending.

Furthermore, SkillOnNet did not effectively profile customers from an AML perspective and relied on verbal comments and monetary thresholds without sufficient evidence. The operator also allowed some customers to deposit and lose amounts exceeding the established limit, failing to mitigate the risks of unverified payment methods.

In terms of social responsibility, SkillOnNet was found to have neglected its obligations to interact with customers and minimize the risk of gambling harm. The operator failed to identify customers displaying signs of harm after a win and allowed high-value bets without proper safer gambling controls due to a technical issue. SkillOnNet also overlooked indicators of risk and disproportionality, allowing a player to deposit and lose more than their monthly salary.

Furthermore, the operator did not consider night play as a marker of harm and failed to effectively interact with customers, relying on automated pop-ups instead. Customer interactions were deemed inadequate in minimizing the risks associated with gambling, as evidenced by cases where players received multiple safer gambling alerts but were still able to continue gambling.

As part of the regulatory settlement, SkillOnNet will make the £305,150 payment and contribute £9,079 towards investigation costs. The operator has agreed to publish details of the case, undergo an independent third-party audit, and implement enhanced AML and safer gambling policies.

The Gambling Commission recognized SkillOnNet's efforts to rectify the breaches, its prompt actions, and cooperation during the investigation. The operator accepted all the key failings identified and has committed to improving its practices moving forward.



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