Online betting company 32Red, sponsor for various football clubs such as Rangers, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, has been hit with 2 million GBP fine for failing to protect a client with gambling addiction. The vulnerable customer was allowed to deposit 758000 GBP between 2014 and 2017, but 32Red didn’t carry out money laundering checks and social responsibility controls.
The Gambling Commission held an investigation over the firm’s treatment of various clients and found out that there were at least 22 incidents leading to the conclusion that the customers had gambling problems. Some of them also admitted to the staff that they had lost too much and they were chasing loses. But instead of checking if the customer needed help, 32Red gave free bonuses and failed to focus if the customer could afford spending big amounts.
“Instead of checking on the welfare of any client displaying problem behaviour, 32Red encouraged the customer to gamble more” said Gambling Commission executive director Richard Watson: “This is the exact opposite of what they are supposed to be doing. Operators must take action when they spot signs of problem gambling”.
The Swedish firm Kindred, owner of 32Red after last year’s acquisition in a 175.6 million GBP deal, said it accepts the penalty and “recognises the raised standards required by the GBGC”.
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