IMME Investigation Concluded by Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission has now published its conclusions after a long-running investigation into gambling company IMME Ltd.
What IMME Did
International Multi-Media Entertainments Limited, to give the company its full title, had for its part provided betting facilities for people to wager on the outcomes of various international lotteries. They did this while having a real event betting licence.
IMME got its custom by having operators call potential players and hosting the web page lotteries.com. They also managed a lottery syndicate business that did not need a licence.
This corner of IMME’s business affairs was reliant on staff calling potential customers while using the web page thelotterycentre.com for digital marketing. Concerns were raised about how IMME did business, leading to the Commission suspending the licence they held before opening up an official investigation.
What the Commission’s Investigation Revealed
The investigation managed to show up that there were some very prevalent failures in social responsibility, suitability, and money laundering prevention.
The chief concerns highlighted by the Commission include:
- Complaints by customers have been called repeatedly by IMME sales agents.
- Three-quarters of customers were aged 60 or older, a fifth even being more than 80 years old.
- Multiple customers complained to police and Action Fraud about IMME.
- Sales agents used aliases, leading to concerns about why they would hide their names.
- IMME could not provide evidence as to their safer gambling interactions.
One particular customer was in her 90’s and was called several times a week, while another was called every 30-40 minutes totalling up to six times until the phone was finally answered.
The older demographic was seen as being disproportionately focused on by IMME without apparently considering potential vulnerabilities.
The Commission found no records kept of interactions between IMME and a 78-year-old customer who spent £63,951 in a little more than three months, while another 74-year-old was able to deposit £9,379 in eight days.
When the investigation began another consumer, 100 years of age, was allowed to bet nearly £24,000 in five months after his deposits doubled in a short space of time.
Finally, IMME was shown to have known that two of its biggest depositors were retired postmen and yet were able to bet £20,345 in five months and £16,207 in six months, respectively, without the need to provide information showing they could afford that level of expenditure.
What the Commission Has Done
Helen Venn, the Commission Executive Director, spoke out after the investigation. She has been quick to point out that the GC will not tolerate any gambling business that behaves and operates in the way IMME did.
Venn has pointed out that all licenced operators in Britain need to follow the Commission’s rules on social responsibility and anti-money laundering. Any failure to do this, Venn reiterates, will absolutely lead to the Commission taking touch action.
Venn and the Commission suspended IMME’s licence following early concerns, even before the investigation was fully underway. After they went deeper into the firm’s affairs, they discovered that the failures would inevitably have led to a complete revocation of the licence anyway, though IMME chose to surrender it.
We fully agree that in the gambling world, which can be entertaining and enjoyable, a few consumers and irreputable companies can spoil the industry’s reputation. IMME was one of those, and, thankfully, they are now no longer in operation.