Thursday, December 8, 2022

Kindred Group Accepts $1.3M Swedish Fine, Shows Improvement

In Summary:

  • Kindred Group has been slammed with $1.3-million fine in Sweden
  • The Group confirmed that it has made amendments to its AML standards and practices
  • Spelinspektionen also issued a fine and a warning to ATG, another company operating in the country

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Spelinspektionen or the Swedish Gaming Authority has issued a new warning and fine to Kindred Group, an established gambling company in the country, with the regulator arguing that the Group had fallen short of meeting certain regulatory standards. Spelinspektionen has taken issue with what it argues are insufficient measures assessing the potential risk of the Group’s services being used for money laundering or the funding of terrorism.

AML and CFT Shortcomings Addressed by Spelinspektionen

Kindred will have to now pay a SEK10.9 million fine ($1.03 million) in the Nordic country over the shortcomings of its wholly owned subsidiary Spooniker Ltd. The Spelinspektionen noted that Spooniker missed Enhanced Due Diligence requirements and will need to improve.

The offenses happened between January 2019 and February 2022, but Kindred Group has been working hard to pass the necessary changes to remedy the situation since 2021. The changes that Kindred Group has undertaken include but aren’t limited to improved AML procedures, including Enhanced Due Diligence which will ensure that Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR) will be submitted to the financial police to contravene potential crimes.

Kindred Group has also introduced thorough customer risk assessments and a number of financial indicators and backstops to ensure that customers are playing within their means. The Group has further expanded its AML team to manage the increased requirements in maintaining all Group properties in line with regulatory norms and expectations.

Kindred Group also noted in an official statement that it fully accepted Spelinspektionen’s commitment to making sure that the industry operates to the highest possible anti-money laundering standards.

Necessary Measures Passed to Remedy the Situation

The Group has expressed its own ambition to enforce objective and effective AML risk parameters. Kindred confirmed that the appropriate processes have been already implemented since the investigation began and that its products and subsidiary are compliant with Swedish gambling law.

This is one of the biggest fines issued to an operator in Sweden since the industry launched legally in 2019. Spelinspektionen has been working to actively safeguard consumers in the market. The regulator has just fined ATG over the same shortcomings. The company received a warning and a SEK6 million fine ($570,000) over various AML shortcomings, similar to Kindred’s case.

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