Unfortunate Social Responsibility Penalty Signals the Need for Immediate Adaptation

Published June 30, 2020 by Lee R

Unfortunate Social Responsibility Penalty Signals the Need for Immediate Adaptation

The accountability of operators for problem behaviour is set to skyrocket.

A new penalty handed down for what the UK calls “social responsibility failings” has spurred a serious reconsideration of operator accountability standards.

The Penalty

The question was raised with supplier and gaming household name Playtech paying a £3.5m ($4.4m) fine to charity for social responsibility failings; after subsidiary operator PT Entertainment Services was sparred inherent culpability.

The Case

The case in question revolve is that of Chris Bruney's suicide, accompanied by a note blaming his problem gambling.

PT Entertainment Service allowed Bruney to deposit vast sums without intervention in the days leading up to Bruney's death, with PY actually offering further bonuses as Bruney lost a total of £119,000.

The Problem

The case serves as a sobering reminder that no amount of self-exclusion programs and detection softwares is sufficient without true commitment from operators.

Compliance Expert Weighs In

To achieve this true sea change in mentality, a 15-year compliance veteran has weighed in. Ex-chief risk and compliance officer at Stride Gaming Perrin Carey calls for a shift in focus towards risk management, while suggesting that the current definition of social responsibility has been skewed.

Carey believes the new perspective should add a more scientific risk management perspective to the application of social responsibilities:

“This is fundamentally an ethical, moral and risk management-orientated issue.”

Compliance Procedure Examples

Carrey points to the fuller range of compliance procedures in place protecting organisations from customers across all industries already.

Extant risk-based protections of organisations from customers today range from AML (anti money laundering) to CFT (combating the financing of terrorism). In kind, Carrey calls for consumer protections against the companies to be equally comprehensive and risk-based, if not more so.

Taking a Harder Look

With the full interview available in the July/August edition of Gambling Insider, the takeaway here seems to be that meeting minimum protection standards is at best a breakdown in due diligence in risk-based assessment on the part of operators—leaving operator adherence to social responsibility policy little more than lip service at worst.


The Brunton tragedy pinpoints the importance at this time for operators and regulators to take the well-being and lives of each of its customers more seriously, and carefully, than ever before—not just for their survival, but for the sustainability of their industry.

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