Vivaro Limited Agrees to Pay £337,631 to UKGC in Regulatory Settlement

The UK Gambling Commission has stated that Vivaro Limited, domiciled in Malta, has agreed to pay £337,631 as a regulatory settlement following the discovery of a number of flaws.

The Gambling Commission declared in a public announcement on January 17, 2023 that an investigation into Vivaro after a compliance assessment done in April 2021 discovered particular flaws in its systems aimed at preventing money laundering and guaranteeing safer gambling.

Customers deposited ‘significant’ quantities of money before KYC checks were performed, and the company’s personnel were not adequately educated of Source of Funds (SoF) practices between October 2020 and June 2021.

The Commission considered Vivaro’s AML procedures ‘ineffective’ in determining the source of money since bank records were not thoroughly scrutinized and a’reliance was put on gains from other operators.

The UKGC cited one user who deposited £14,850 in two months without establishing SoF, and another who presented a bank balance of more than £270,000, which was alleged to represent earnings from other betting accounts.

The UKGC said that, while certain checks were performed, they were insufficient until the client reached the Licensees ‘very high AML threshold,’ and that Vivaro relied too heavily on the customer’s net gaming position. Furthermore, they found Vivaro failed to adequately evaluate the dangers connected with recycled earnings, namely that no extra checks were conducted to establish the provenance of the monies utilized to wager. However, the Commission also noted that no evidence of illicit expenditure was discovered during the compliance examination.

Finally, the Commission chastised Vivaro for failing to “sufficiently evaluate the dangers” of cryptocurrency trading. Crypto money is deemed high risk by Commission officials and should be subject to further review

The Gambling Commission stated that the entire £337,631 settlement will be donated to “socially responsible causes” in lieu of a £302,500 penalty package.

When determining the appropriate action to take, the regulator said there were “significant licence condition breaches for a sustained period of time, however, Vivaro was “proactive and timely” in addressing all the issues identified, as well as being “open and transparent from the outset of the investigation and fully co-operative throughout”.

Along with the settlement, Vivaro has undertaken to conduct a third-party audit within 12 months of the end of the review.

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