Smarkets was fined £630,000 ($770,000) by the Gambling Commission for a series of anti-money laundering and social responsibility breaches.
The operator, which prides itself on being different from its competitors, “allowed customers to play without an adequate source of funds being verified, and failed to identify and interact with customers at risk of harm” , according to the Commission.
In addition, Smarkets has received a formal warning and will now be subject to an audit, intended to ensure that it can properly implement its anti-money laundering and anti-money laundering procedures, policy and controls. social responsibility.
Commission Deputy CEO Sarah Gardner commented on the punitive action taken against Smarkets, saying: “Our investigation into Smarkets uncovered a variety of failures where customers were put at risk of gambling.
“It was apparent 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.”
The fine represents the latest in a series of controversies for Smarkets – as it recently published an online TV advert which has not been approved for UK television by clearance body Clearcast, which said it would “discredit the ad” for its mocking and cynical nature.
Meanwhile, Smarkets’ betting platform crashed on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, preventing customers from placing bets throughout the day, leading to an apology from the operator.
The news also comes shortly after the Gambling Commission recently fined LeoVegas £1.2m for similar misconduct. Smarkets wants to be different but the latter fines the place exactly in the company of the operators it has recently criticized.
“We take our responsibility to have appropriate compliance policies in place very seriously. We will continue to work closely with the GC and other relevant stakeholders, and take proactive steps to ensure continuous improvement of our procedures. »