A HALESOWEN online gambling firm has been fined £3.4million after it was found to have breached anti-money laundering rules and failed to combat problem gambling.

Intouch Games Limited will now have to undergo extensive auditing after a Gambling Commission assessment revealed social responsibility, money laundering and marketing failures.

The firm is based at Fountain House, Great Cornbow. Its director Simon Wilson lives in Stourbridge.

It has been fined £3.4m by the Gambling Commission, which has issued it with an official warning.

The firm, which employs more than 400 people at its Halesowen HQ, runs bonusboss.co.uk, cashmo.co.uk, casino.mfortune.co.uk, casino2020.co.uk, drslot.co.uk, mfortune.co.uk, mrspin.co.uk, pocketwin.co.uk and slotfactory.com.

It donated £500k to the to Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Russells Hall Hospital, to support staff fighting COVID-19, last April.

The Gambling Commission said the firm's social responsibility failings included:

Stating that a bonus may be offered if a customer provides identification.

Not putting into effect its policies and procedures for customer interaction for seven customers where it had concerns that activity may indicate problem gambling.

A statement from the Gambling Commission says: "If the Licensee had followed its policy it should have given more consideration to placing mandatory limits on customer accounts."

Anti-money laundering failings included:

Having a risk assessment which did not take into account the risk of allowing customers to use a payment provider which also acts as an exchange for crypto-currencies.

Neglecting to conduct appropriate levels of Enhanced Customer Due Diligence.

Failing to critically review Source of Funds information once it was requested.

Fair and transparent terms and practices failings included:

Not stating in an SMS text the minimum and maximum deposits in an offer’s significant terms.

Not stating in an SMS text the time limit for which the bonus offer could be claimed.

As part of a new licence condition Intouch Games must instruct, at its own expense, a firm of independent auditors to carry out an audit that ensures full compliance with the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said: “Through our challenging compliance and enforcement activity we will continue our work to raise standards in the industry and continue to hold failing operators to account.”

In Touch Games in Halesowen. Pic: Google

Intouch Games in Halesowen. Pic: Google

An Intouch Games spokesperson said: "We have taken full responsibility for the small number of historic matters raised by the industry-wide assessment conducted in 2019.

"We're pleased that The Gambling Commission, did not find evidence of any actual money laundering and has recognised that "considerable improvements" have been made.

"We are fully cooperating with the Commission's findings and rather than simply addressing the criticisms raised, we have taken further proactive steps to ensure all recommendations and findings are implemented. "

Simon Wilson, a former Cradley CofE Primary school pupil, built the now globally successful business with his wife Caroline from their home town of Stourbridge.

They started the firm in 2001 from a small premises in the town as a manufacturer of Jukeboxes and slot machines supplying the UK pub trade before developing a mobile phone casino app in 2007 which was a massive success.

It has two bases abroad - one in Romania with a team of 50 programmers and 50 programmers based in Taiwan.

It has more than five million players in the UK and has established itself as a dominant force within the eGaming industry.