Regulator the Gambling Commission has levied fines worth nearly £13m on two online gaming operators, it said today.
Two companies were fined for failing to put in place effective safeguards to prevent money laundering and keep consumers safe.
Daub Alderney was ordered to pay £7.1m while Casumo was ordered to pay £5.85m. A third company, Videoslots, agreed to pay £1m in lieu of a fine.
A fourth company CZ Holdings, will no longer be able to target UK gamblers having surrendered its licence after the review was launched.
Nine other operators have been given advice to conduct letters and a further six are still under investigation.
The Commission has also targeted individuals with three people surrendering personal licences, four issued with warnings and two issued with advice to conduct notices. Three licence holders are still under investigation.
The two fines are part of an ongoing probe into the way the industry combats problem gambling and money laundering.
Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur said: “I hope today’s announcement will make all online casino operators sit up and pay attention, as our investigations found that a large number of operators and their senior management were not meeting their obligations.”
Jeremy Wright, secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Any online operator that thinks it can ignore its duty to protect players should take note today – there will be consequences. Protecting vulnerable consumers is our prime concern, and it must be the priority for gambling operators too.”
Videoslots said in a statement: "We accept there were weaknesses in our systems relating to how we managed our customers for anti-money laundering and social responsibility purposes and have taken proactive and timely action to address all the issues identified." A spokesman added that the company's payment "will go to a National Responsible Gambling Strategy project or projects to pay for research or treatment as determined appropriate to address the risk of harmful gambling."
Daub Alderney and Casumo were contacted for comment.