UKGC hands six-figure fine to Smarkets

UKGC hands six-figure fine to Smarkets - Banner
Charlie Vogelsang
by Charlie Vogelsang Last updated:

Smarkets Limited has been fined by the UKGC

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has handed out its latest fine to Smarkets (Malta) Limited to pay out £630,000 after a thorough investigation. The investigations from the UKGC revealed a series of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings.

The failings saw customers being able to gamble without an adequate source of funds checks being carried out and failing to both interact and identify customers at risk of experiencing gambling harm.

This news comes after the UKGC suspended Bet At Home and Goldchip's licences and fined the National Lottery £3.15m.

Further details on the fine

Smarkets is a UK-based betting exchange company founded in 2008 that has offices in London, Los Angeles and Malta. The company allows players to back and lay with the best betting odds and lowest commission of all major sports and politics.

The operator has also received a formal warning and will have an audit to ensure its implementing procedures to prevent future issues such as further social responsibility failures.

Examples of the previous failings include a customer allowed to deposit £395,000 in a four-month period without the appropriate source of funds checks being carried out.

“Customers were put at risk of gambling harm,” says UKGC

Sarah Gardner, Commission Deputy CEO, said: “This case was identified through compliance checks and once again highlights how we will take action against gambling operators who fail their customers.”

“Our investigation into Smarkets unearthed a variety of failures where customers were put at risk of gambling harm.”

She concluded: “It was obvious that poor systems and processes were in place which contributed to these breaches, driven by the company's failure to effectively implement its policies and controls.”

"Fully accept," says Smarkets

In response to the action, Jason Trost, Smarkets CEO and Founder, said: “We fully accept the UKGC’s findings following investigation of some of our former procedures.”

“We have worked cooperatively with the Commission throughout the process and taken significant measures to implement their recommendations, investing substantially in our compliance function.”

He added: “We take our responsibility to have appropriate compliance policies in place extremely seriously. We will continue to work closely with the UKGC and other relevant stakeholders, and will take proactive steps in order to ensure further improvement to our procedures on an ongoing basis.”