Paddy Power Betfair Fined £2.2 Million for Failing to Protect CustomersPublished October 16, 2018 by Ivan P
The UKGC investigation has uncovered that the Paddy Power Betfair group failed to implement required checks, leading to a large amount of stolen money flowing through the platform.
The UKGC, the main gambling regulatory body in the United Kingdom, has issued a hefty £2.2 million fine against industry giant Paddy Power Betfair for their failures to protect customers who were displaying signs of problem gambling. The group failed to implement required checks and policies, designed to counter problem gambling and money laundering.
Gambling With Stolen Money
The UKGC investigation discovered that during 2016, the Paddy Power Betfair group allowed two customers to gamble using significant amounts of stolen funds on the Betfair betting exchange. One of the customers in question was Simon Price, now the former boss of Birmingham Dogs Home. Price was found guilty of defrauding the charity organization for £900,000 over the course of four years and sentenced to five years in prison in December of 2017.
During the investigation, the commission has also identified other failings in group's procedures with regards to social responsibility and source of wealth checks in three separate cases. This led to significant amounts of stolen cash flowing through Paddy Power Betfair.
The Group Owning Up to Their Mistakes
Peter Jackson, the CEO of Paddy Power Betfair, admitted the group had failed to adhere to required procedures in these cases, publicly apologizing on behalf of the company. Jackson emphasized it is the company's responsibility to identify and intervene when a customer shows signs of problem gambling, which is why the group has invested significant resources over the past few years to strengthen their customer protection systems.
Despite the apology, the group will have to pay a hefty £2.2 million fine. Of that amount, £1.7 million will go towards Gamble Aware. The Birmingham charity will also get back the amount that was lost on Betfair, while £50,000 of the total sum will go towards covering expenses of the UKGC investigation.
This latest action is a part of larger efforts by the commission in the recent period. The UKGC has shown willingness and readiness to go after any and all operators failing to adhere to very strict standards, issuing fines against some of the biggest names in the UK gambling industry.