Ladbrokes Coral to pay £5.9m for various failings

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has found “systemic failings” at the Ladbrokes Coral Group, which lead to imposing a penalty package consisting of a £5.9m (€6.4m) payment and a series of improvement measures that must be implemented by new owner GVC.

£5.9m is one of the largest penalty packages ever imposed by the UKGC. The massive payment will settle a UKGC’s investigation from between November 2014 and October 2017 into past failings in Ladbrokes and Coral, including an inability to protect vulnerable customers from gambling-related harm and insufficient anti-money laundering measures.

The following occurred as a result of the investigation:

– Ladbrokes did not carry out any social responsibility interactions with a customer who lost £98,000 over two-and-a-half years, had 460 attempted deposits into their account declined, and even asked the operator to stop sending promotions.

– Despite one customer spending £1.5m over two-years 10 months, Coral did not ask the customer to evidence their source of funds and could not provide evidence of any social responsibility interactions being carried out. During their time with the operator, the customer displayed signs of problem gambling including logging into their account an average of 10 times a day for a month and losing £64,000 in one month alone.

– Ladbrokes could not provide any evidence of carrying out social responsibility interactions with a customer who deposited over £140,000 in the first four months of their account being open.

– Ladbrokes, having identified concerns with a customer, then allowed further significant gambling without taking additional steps to verify the source of funds or consider if the customer could afford to spend and lose that amount of money.

As part of the settlement, GVC will pay £4.8 million, which will go to various initiatives for responsible gambling. Another £1.1 million will be paid to “affected parties” such as people, whose money was stolen with the purpose to gamble. The company will be reviewing its top 50 customers, and in case of suspicious transactions or compulsive gambling behaviour from 2015 to 2017, it will have to pay further penalties.

The regulator has also revealed that more sanctions may be coming down the line as further investigations into the actions of personal management licence holders continue.

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