Gambling Commission fines VGC Leeds Limited £450,000 for regulation violations

VGC Leeds Limited, the operator of the Victoria Gate Casino, must pay a large fine to the Gambling Commission due to regulation violations. The regulator found that the casino failed in maintaining its social responsibility and anti-money laundering measures.

A total of £450,000 will be paid by the operator as part of a settlement agreed to by the Commission. A public statement was provided to give details on how VGC failed to meet regulations requirements, including identifying and managing customers that were of high risk to gambling-related harm as well as money laundering.

The Public Statement

In the public statement, the Gambling Commission pointed out that licensed operators are legally bound to ensure that facilities are operating in compliance with the Gambling Act 2005. This includes preventing gambling from being a source of crime, used to support crime, or being associated with crime.

Gaming is also supposed to take place in an open and fair way, with vulnerable people and children protected from harm. VGC Leeds Limited reported was in violation of such regulations as the operator of the Victoria Gate Casino. The company holds a non-remote and ancillary remote casino license.

The Commission reviewed how the casino operator handled 10 customers after concerns were raised during a compliance assessment from July 2019. The investigation revealed that VGC failed in helping players who were at a higher risk of gambling-related harm and money laundering. The issue came from the company’s failure to implement anti-money laundering and safer gambling policies/procedures.

The Decision

The Commission reported in the public statement that in late October 2019, they gave notice to VGC that the gaming operating license of the company had been reviewed and that breaches of licensing conditions were present. The findings led to the Commission fining the group and requiring change among the implementation of policies.

VGC cooperated with the Commission during the entire investigation and accepted the need to implement policies and procedures regarding anti-money laundering and safer gambling. What was in place at the time was not working correctly. The company accepted that it did not act in accordance with conditions included in its operating license from January 2017 all the way until July 2019.

Because of the ruling, the VGC agreed to pay a fine. A total of £241,000 will be used to represent divestment of the amount of gain the company earned due to the failings. Another £209,000 will be paid to cover a financial penalty. An additional £21,578.17 will go to the Commission for costs.