Gala Coral pays $1.2M over faults with AML, social responsibility controls

Failures to implement adequate anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility (SR) controls regarding a VIP customer, who stole money to fund his gambling, have cost Gala Coral £846,664 ($1.24 million).

The UK Gambling Commission today posted a public statement regarding the case, saying there are lessons to be learned from it.

Law enforcement agents notified the Commission of the conviction for theft of a customer of Gala Coral Group who had been sentenced to several years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to stealing £800,000 from a vulnerable adult. Examination by the Police of the individuals bank records led to the conclusion that the thefts had been used to fund the customer’s gambling.

Gala Coral Group failed to conduct adequate enquires about the source of funds the customer used to gamble and over-relied on the fact that the relevant payments were all made through one UK clearing bank account. The Commission concluded that the identified issues highlighted by this customer pointed to wider systemic deficiencies in Gala Coral’s approach to AML and SR at the relevant time.

The regulator has accepted a voluntary settlement from Gala Coral Group consisting of:

  • an undertaking to divest itself of the customer’s gross gambling yield to the sum of £846,664;
  • agreement to the publication of a public statement outlining failings by Gala Coral Group for industry and wider learning;
  • a revision of AML and SR policies; enhanced online and eLearning training for retail and online staff;
  • the introduction of periodic audit of Gala Coral Group’s AML and proceeds of crime polices;
  • a payment to reflect the Commission’s costs of investigating this matter in the sum of £30,000.

Gala Coral Group has assured the regulator that there has been progress in the strengthening of its procedures since then, including the introduction of new tools to improve the collection of KYC information on customers, revised and enhanced eLearning training to be undertaken by all customer-facing teams, and increased headcount in their AML and SR teams.

For details on the case, click here.

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