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Ladbrokes Coral to Pay Massive £5.9M Fine for Problem Gambling FailuresPublished July 31, 2019 by Ivan P
The big fine was imposed by the UKGC after the investigation of seven cases where the bookmaker failed to take any actions to approach players or investigate origins of money.
The Ladbrokes Coral Group was issued a £5.9 million fine by the UK Gambling Commission. The fine, which is one of the largest fines of this type in modern history, is a result of the company's failure to adhere to responsible gambling and anti-money laundering policies.
Hundreds of Thousands Gambled: No Questions Asked
According to UKGC's Richard Watson, the bookmaker has neglected to take actions in a number of cases where significant amounts of money were lost gambling. The systematic neglect allowed for hundreds of thousands to flow through the system, a part of which was stolen money.
Some of the cases investigated by the UKGC included a player who lost £98,000 across the two-and-a-half year period and a customer who proceeded to deposit £140,000 during the first four month of their account being opened. In both of these, as well as some other cases, Ladbrokes failed to ask any questions or approach players in any way about these significant losses.
Failings Dating Before GVC Holdings Acquisition
The transgressions covered by the fine took place between 2014 and 2017, in the period before GVC Holdings took over the Ladbrokes Coral Group. The current fine covers seven customers but further five case are being investigated at the moment.
GVC has agreed to pay the £4.8 fine as well as an additional £1.1 million that will go towards the reimbursement of affected parties in cases where stolen money was used for gambling. Shortly after acquiring the company, GVC has partnered with the UKGC to start a thorough investigation as they had noticed systematic failures in certain operational areas.
Despite GVC's willingness to work closely with the Commission and the fact that the suggested fine and reimbursements were accepted by both parties, certain political powers in the UK are unhappy with the current climate surrounding online and gambling in general. Carolyn Harris, Labour MP, has expressed concerns that the industry as a whole is not doing nearly enough to tackle problem and excessive gambling and although actions by the UKGC are a step in the right direction, she described the amount as "loose change" for the bookmaker.