The Betting and Gaming Council (bgc) have given their website a much needed makeover, with the second half of their page dedicated to ‘Championing Industry Standards’. Whilst we at Gamvisory have continued to expose the impending unlocking of the legacy of exploitation at the hands of the gambling industry, particularly the online sector, we chuckled with an uneasy sigh, at just how lacklustre things are on ‘the other side’. When we saw the prominent section of the BGC’s website titled, ‘Gambling Anti-Money Laundering Group’ (GAMLG) we thought, great….they get it too now. However, the irony of the main title, ‘championing Industry Standards’ isn’t lost when you actually click through the link.
Not only does GAMLG have nothing relevant on their site for 2/3 years, they don’t even mention the existence of the BGC, instead, referring to the now defunct Association of British Bookers (ABB) throughout. Perhaps this gives you an idea as to how the industry has taken their obligations to comply with Money Laundering Regulations historically. This legacy lives on and at Gamvisory, we see cases of exploitation from disordered gamblers everyday and the metaphorical filing cabinet of stored evidence is beginning to bulge. Whilst the majority of disordered gamblers, whether recovering, recovered or still within the thick fog of the disorder will never consider the implications of Money Laundering Regulations, The Gambling Commission know better though.
To make a seemingly complex subject easier to understand you only need to read between the lines when dissecting the most recent of regulatory ‘settlements’ taken by The Gambling Commission against Playtech. The sad case involving the suicide of Chris Bruney showed the same failings as we’ve seen over and over again with a multitude of companies, year on year. The reality is that the cases which Gamvisory has in its filing cabinet, aren’t really too dissimilar to Chris’ case, with the exception being that the people at the end of these cases are survivors. So it really begs the question, why treat the case of a suicide victim differently to those that have survived? Is should never have come to this tragic outcome. The unimaginable anguish that the Bruney family must have endured and still are, can never be compared and we very much hope they are able to seek true accountability both from Playtech and the Gambling Commission. Fortunately, Chris’ family have the support of Gambling With Lives to assist with this. For the survivors that are attempting to rebuild their lives, we at Gamvisory will push for accountability on their behalf.
It is important for everyone to understand that Chris Bruney did not commit crime to fund his disordered gambling. It is important to understand that the majority of the survivors that Gamvisory assist also did not commit crime to fund their disordered gambling. Playtech were fined for Money Laundering offences without Chris’ case involving theft. In simple terms, these companies have to monitor accounts on an ongoing basis and they have to establish source of funds. This isn’t new, this requirement has been around for some time. For the companies to simply tell you that the excessive money you spent with them ‘didn’t trigger’ their internal thresholds is utter nonsense. It epitomises the industry’s arrogance that the buck stops with the gambler. Be responsible, keep it FUN, play safe…..blah blah (of course, amplified by the likes of industry chosen charities).
We will soon be dissecting the Playtech regulatory settlement along with another very interesting regulatory settlement against GVC from last year. We will continue to endeavour to shed more light on this subject to aid your understanding that the Money Laundering non-compliance is a sheer scandal which we will ensure is dealt with. There will be an anonymised exchange also documented between a member of Gamvisory and a very high profile individual within the gambling industry which completely affirms what our dissection of the GVC case should mean for future accountability.