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VGC Leeds Limited forced to pay £450k fine by Gambling Commission

VGC Leeds Limited will pay a £450,000 ($613,000) fine following an inquiry by the Gambling Commission after the gambling watchdog uncovered a number of social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) failures from the casino operator.

Concerns were raised during a compliance assessment in 2019, prompting the Commission to launch an investigation into VGC’s handling of 10 customers.

The probe flagged several breaches of the regulator’s code, including a failure to identify customers at risk of gambling related harm, as well as a failure to implement effective AML controls.

According to the watchdog, one individual was allowed to incur losses of £275,000 over a 22-month period before the casino requested evidence regarding the source of their funds.

“These failings were identified as part of our ongoing drive to raise standards across the whole gambling industry,” commented Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director.

“All operators should be very aware that we will not hesitate to take action against those who fail to follow rules that are in place to make gambling safer and prevent it being a source of crime.

“Consumer protection should be an operator’s main priority and we would advise every gambling business to read today’s public statement, so they do not make the same mistakes as VGC.”

VGC cooperated fully with the Commission’s investigation and reportedly made no attempt to conceal evidence of the breaches.

The casino has also committed to an ongoing programme of improvements to remedy the failings highlighted by the regulator.

Its efforts have thus far included a full review of its customer sign-off process, the establishment of a relationship with NHS Northern Gambling Clinic and an updated version of the company’s social responsibility policy.

All-in-all, VGC will pay £241,000 to represent its earnings accrued as a result of the accepted failings, £209,000 in place of a financial penalty and Commission costs of £21,578.17.

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