Shaftesbury Casino Limited
WEST BROMWICH, B70 9QW, United Kingdom
What is a settlement?
Following an investigation into a licence holder we may enter into a regulatory settlement. These take place, for example, where the licence holder has been open and transparent with us and has shown a willingness to suggest actions that prevent the need for a more formal sanction.
Decision date: 30 March 2021
Outcomes: Payment in lieu of financial penalty, Commission costs, Public statement and Commission costs
Details of action
The Commission investigated Shaftesbury’s handling of 12 customers following concerns identified at a compliance assessment in August 2019.
Our investigation identified failings in the way Shaftesbury identified and managed customers who were at higher risk of gambling related harm and who presented a higher risk of money laundering or terrorist financing. These failings stemmed from Shaftesbury failing to identify risks relating to money laundering (AML) and having inappropriate anti-money laundering (AML) and safer gambling policies and procedures.
On 24 October 2019, we gave Shaftesbury notice that we were commencing a review of its operating licence. That review revealed Shaftsbury had breached a number of conditions of its operating licence.
Shaftesbury cooperated throughout the course of our investigation and has accepted that its money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment was not appropriate and that its policies and procedures in respect of AML and safer gambling were not appropriate nor implemented effectively. It has accepted that it failed to act in accordance with conditions of its operating licence between January 2017 and August 2019.
In line with our Statement of principles for licensing and regulation, Shaftesbury has agreed a regulatory settlement consisting of:
- £260,000 payment in lieu of a financial penalty, which will be directed towards delivering the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms
- Agreement to the publication of a statement of the facts in relation to this case
- Payment of £11,690.41 towards the Commission’s costs of investigating the case.
Agreement to the publication of a statement of facts in relation to this case - with the news story/ public statement being linked off the "a statement of facts".
What is a sanction?
When a licence holder has not followed rules and regulations aimed at ensuring gambling is fair, safe and crime-free, we can take action and impose the following sanctions:
- Give the licensee a warning
- Add, remove, or amend a condition to the licence
- Suspend a licence
- Revoke a licence
- Impose a financial penalty
Decision date: 19 July 2023
Details of action
Following a review of the operating licence undertaken against Shaftesbury Casino Limited (the Licensee), the Commission found the Licensee:
- Failed to comply with ordinary code provision (OCP) 1.1.1 (Cooperation)
- Failed to comply with ordinary code provision (OCP) 8.1.1 (Information requirements).
In line with the Commission’s Licensing, compliance and enforcement policy statement, the Indicative sanctions guidance and the Statement of principles for determining financial penalties, the Commission has decided to:
- issue a warning under section 117 (a) of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act).”
The Licensee did not disclose at an early stage, information which the Commission would reasonably need to have been aware of in exercising its regulatory functions.?This includes, in particular, anything that is likely to have a material impact on the Licensee’s business. The Licensee chose to cease paying regulatory settlement instalments without advance contact with, or approval by, Commission officials. This was particularly concerning for the Commission given regulatory settlements are entered into with a degree of trust that Licensees will work openly and in a timely manner to ensure the terms of such settlements are fully met.
The Commission expects Licensees to work with it in an open and cooperative way and to inform it of any matters it would reasonably need to be aware of in exercising its regulatory functions. These include in particular matters that will have a material impact on the Licensee’s business. The Licensee chose to suspend agreed monthly payments to a nominated charity due to financial constraints. However, this decision was made without regard to the impact this would have on the charity meeting its obligations and planned deliverables. Commission officials were concerned the Licensee decided to cease meeting the requirements of a regulatory settlement in favour of ensuring personal tax liabilities were met, entirely of its own volition, without discussion with the Commission.