Ladbrokes and Coral owner (Entain) fined £17m by the Gambling Commission for "completely unacceptable" failures
The Gambling Commission (which is the government agency that supervises gambling laws) investigated Entain and found a series of "completely unacceptable failures" because Entain had not sufficiently safeguarded customers who were struggling with gambling debt.
Examples of the discovered breaches include:
- an online customer (who regularly gambled overnight) was able to deposit more than £230,000 in their account over eighteen months and was only contacted once in an online chat;
- a customer, who was known to live in social housing, was allowed to deposit £186,000 in six months without sufficient checks;
- one online customer who was blocked from using Coral because they had spent £60,000 in 12 months and failed to provide source of funds was immediately able to open an account with Ladbrokes and deposit £30,000 in a single day; and
- a customer was allowed to deposit £742,000 in 14 months but was not flagged for potentially laundering money.
Customers were also permitted to create accounts with other sites in the company, even when they had racked up debt on other company sites. Entain also allowed online customers to deposit large amounts without carrying out sufficient source of funds checks.
Chief executive of the Gambling Commission Andrew Rhodes said: "Our investigation revealed serious failures that have resulted in the largest enforcement outcome to date." He went to state "They should be aware that we will be monitoring them very carefully and further serious breaches will make the removal of their licence to operate a very real possibility. We expect better and consumers deserve better."
The Gambling Commission reached settlement with Entain which included terms forcing the company to implement an “improvement plan” to tighten up controls designed to prevent money-laundering and tackle gambling addiction. In a statement, Entain said it had agreed to the settlement "to bring the matter to a close" and "avoid further costly and protracted legal proceedings".
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