Lack of Due Diligence Leads to Fine for Casino Malta
Casino Malta has been fined €233,834 by the Financial Intelligence Action Unit (FIAU) Malta. The land-based casino in Malta has received this fine for a lack of due diligence and inadequate procedures related to risk assessment. For example, the casino allowed a CEO of a company to spend one million euros without verifying the source of the funds.
The FIAU is a Maltese government agency responsible for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. According to the FIAU’s penalty decision the land-based casino fell short in its obligations.
One of the issues cited by the government agency was a player who was the CEO of a company with connections in Turkey. A note was made in his profile that he had to provide identification on his next visit. However, he did not need to provide any documentation upon arrival. The player was then able to place bets of more than €1 million.
According to the FIAU:
“This player was given an average risk rating, which was then raised to high. The player lost more than 1 million euros, most of it in cash and through eight different bank accounts. In addition, a change in the transaction pattern was observed. The Committee noted that, given the high gaming activity, the fact that the player used eight different bank accounts and the changed pattern of transactions, the company should have taken additional measures, such as obtaining documentation on this player’s SOW, as well as on the income he earned and other proceeds he generated through his work/business.”
Casino Malta makes student lose a lot of money
Another incident on which the fine was based involved a student with connections to China. Between January 2019 and December 2019, this player was able to place bets of approximately €200,000 at Casino Malta. Without verifying the source of the funds, the student lost €80,000 within a year at the casino.
A spokesman of the FIAU explained:
“The Committee stressed that when implementing EDD measures, it is not enough to control through the MBR only the ownership of or other involvement in companies. The company needed to gain more insight into the players’ SOW/SOF and prove it. The Commission stressed the importance of implementing appropriate EDD measures to help reduce money laundering and terrorist financing.”
According to the FIAU report, 22% of players who had a low or medium risk classification also carried out transactions that players with such classifications should never have been able to do.
Casino Malta, operated by Eden Leisure Gaming, does have its own Money Laundering Report Officer (MLRO). However, the person in this role had so much work that they were unable to carry out all player checks effectively.
The FIAU concluded that the MLRO of Casino Malta is overburdened and in need of assistance. The casino has been instructed by the FIAU to take measures, and they will continue to monitor the process. As a result, the MLRO will now receive the necessary help.
Casino Malta is a land-based casino that is owned and operated by the Olympic Entertainment Group. The group is primarily active in the Baltic states and operates under the name Casino Olympic. With a focus on providing quality gaming experiences, the casino boasts an extensive collection of games, including slot machines, table games, and poker.
In addition to the land-based casino, the Olympic Entertainment Group also operates an online brand known as Olybet. This platform offers a variety of online casino games, sports betting options, and poker tournaments. Olybet is available to players in several countries and is recognized for its user-friendly interface, fast payouts, and secure gaming environment.
Malta from list of unreliable countries
In June of last year, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to remove Malta from its list of financially unreliable countries. The island had been on FATF’s grey list for over a year. This organization has developed policies to combat money laundering. The grey list is a collection of countries that the organization sees as financially unreliable.