Gibraltar is sanctioning one of the country’s leading online casinos, Onisac, for failing to enforce anti-money laundering (AML) regulations on its gaming site. Onisac, which is owned by Mansion Group, will pay $1.14 million in fines for various irregularities.
According to the Gibraltar Gambling Commission, a routine on-site inspection of Onisac’s facilities led to the discovery of irregularities at numerous points, with AML non-compliance being the “primary offence”.
battle of wits
The Gaming Commission had warned Onisac of irregularities in the AML processes almost two years ago, in 2020 itself. However, the top management of the Casino group had turned a deaf ear to the directives of the regulator.
The result of the continued disregard for warnings suggesting the regulator establish adequate AML processes has now resulted in this hefty fine.
GGC tough on Brexit money laundering
Gibraltar, the gateway to Europe from Africa, is a tourism-based economy. Gambling is also a major business here, with numerous casino operators dotting the town line. Currently, it has a favorable iGaming environment and the operators are contributing to the prosperity of the industry.
Despite being an area governed by the United Kingdom, Gibraltar can maintain its economic autonomy by establishing liberal gambling tax rules.
However, regulatory oversight is very strict, and there are constant ‘inspections’ by the Gambling Commission for compliance with its regulations. Additionally, non-compliant operators are heavily fined due to Brexit.
The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission has been very rigorous since 2020 in the conduct of AML checks. Their continuous inspection resulted in the issuance of over 3.3 million USD.
Lack of proper AML processes
In the case of Onisac, the Gaming Commission alleges there was an intentional failure to implement AML regulatory processes, even though AML compliance is one of the most critical regulations that operators country’s games have to put in place given the influence of Brexit.
The Commission accused Onisac management of “flagrantly” and “perhaps deliberately” flouting of GGC rules. It was very laid back and not very strict with the protocol an operator has to follow for players outside of the European Union and the United Kingdom. This resulted in many client accounts being flagged for AML.