Ruth Hernández: "The verification of the documents does not usually exceed 48 hours, but other reviews must be done before the refund is made."

About the expert:

Ruth Hernández is an expert in payments, risk and fraud, in addition to having extensive experience in the management of customer service departments and in both internal and external training for new additions in the customer service, payment and fraud departments. With extensive knowledge in the prevention of money laundering, he is also part of the expansion departments in the Latin American market.

- First of all, tell us a little about yourself How many years have you been working in the gaming sector? What are the main changes that you have noticed in the sector over this time?

I have been working in the gaming sector for almost 9 years, starting in the customer service department, going through developing KYC-based procedures, VIPs player management, risk, fraud, payments, development of the operational plan and the realization of PBCyFT reports as well as quarterly and annual fraud reports.

The main changes that have been happening over the years are the technical notes issued by the DGOJ and above all the new Royal Decree based on advertising in Online gambling and very focused on the development of responsible gambling management, all these changes make us have an increasingly stronger regulation and very similar to the Gambling Act of 2005 of UK that right now is also in the process of being revised and expanded.

- What are the main differences between the customer service, risk and fraud departments?

The main differences are the specific functions that each department is focused on and the risk analysis that must be done in each of them, without losing sight of the fact that these departments must have fluid communication and all employees must receive, in addition to specific training, basic training on the risks of the rest of the departments to be able to detect Red Flags and pass immediate notice to those responsible.

The customer service department is the first line of defense , as it obtains very valuable information from the players and where much of the fraud is detected that must be reported to the fraud department.

Within the risk department, real or possible risks have to be defined and their impact on the development of the company's daily activity . This risk assessment must be reviewed and updated continuously in order to correctly face the company's operations.

- When does a request pass from the customer service department to the risk department?

Applications are passed whenever there is the slightest doubt, the customer service department must have basic training in fraud and risk to detect possible risks in the use of gaming accounts, then it is the risk department that does a detailed study . To do this, you have to count on the customer service department to leave all the information about the case on the player's file. The risk department may, in turn, make random reviews of gaming accounts or on suspicious behavior detected in the fraud department.

- What are the main complaints that are usually received in customer service in New Zealand?

Most complaints are usually about the issue of promotions, players do not usually read the full terms and conditions of them, but once explained by the customer service department, players are satisfied with the explanation.

- After the withdrawal request by a user, how is the process internally? Are there any deadlines for the verification of documents?

Any withdrawal of money from the gaming account must go through a process, it is checked that the documentation, in-game behavior and bonus release is correct. In addition, reviews based on the PBCyFT and responsible gambling come into play, it is a complex, but well-defined process in which you have to follow all the steps correctly to validate the withdrawal of money.

The deadlines for verifying the documents usually do not exceed 24-48 hours, but then, as I mentioned above, other revisions must be made before proceeding with the refund.

- There is a lot of talk about the prevention of money laundering in the gambling sector, but are there really cases of money laundering through online gambling operators? From what amounts do the alarms about money laundering go off?

Gambling operators are obliged subjects according to the PBCyFT Law so we have to do daily, weekly, monthly and annual reviews on the behavior of players and check that there are no patterns that may indicate that online gambling is being used to launder money. Monthly reports are made, in addition to the external audits to which we submit, there is fluid communication with SEPBLAC and with the Treasury, so the controls are quite strict.

Money laundering alarms can be triggered with a wide range of amounts, since the “smurfing” technique can be used where many accounts with movements of small amounts are used, the normal thing is that if someone wants to launder money in an Online Casino they use many game accounts, and to detect these cases there is the review of the behavior of the players from where we can draw relationships with other game accounts.

- What are the most common cases of fraud? And, on the contrary, what is the strangest or most implausible case of fraud that you have faced?

The most common cases of fraud are identity fraud, whether consensual or not, and the use of third-party bank cards, whether known or not , many times it is the players themselves who are not aware that they cannot use their partner's card, for example, to make a deposit into their gaming account.

One case that caught my attention a lot was when they sent us a DNI with the data covered with latex and written on top with a pen, I don't know what it would be thinking when he sent it.