Information has recently been released of the UK’s watchdog for gambling practises the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission) hitting Ladbrokes Coral with a penalty of £5.9 million. This fine has been recorded as one of the largest ever given out by the commission, and is the result of Ladbrokes’s failure to meet such regulatory requirements as protecting vulnerable people from falling into problem gambling-related harm.
Reasons for this penalty
Alongside the online operator failing to provide sufficient action against problem gambling-related harm, the UKGC have also stated numerous other transgressions that have resulted from this fee, most notably the failure to take adequate action in preventing money laundering. An example of this particular failure can be found in the operators neglecting to investigate a user who lost £1.5 million over the course of a near three years.
The executive director of the UKGC Richard Watson has publicly voiced his opinion on this fine, stating that “These were systemic failings at a large operator, which resulted in consumers being harmed and stolen money flowing through the business and this is unacceptable” – with one particular Ladbrokes Coral customer having shown overt signs of problem gambling by accessing their online account up to 10 times in a day, and losing a whopping £64,000 in just one month on the site.
The settlement details that Ladbrokes Coral Group will pay out £4.8 million, this money will be used to fund the promotion and advancement of responsible gambling. In addition to this, the remaining £1.1 million will be used to pay back “affected parties” who have suffered due to the online operator’s neglectful practices.
Response from Ladbrokes Coral Group
Chief executive of the GVC (the new owners of Ladbrokes Coral Group) Kenny Alexander has also commented on this recent penalty, stating the following: “soon after the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral following meetings and ongoing inquiries by the Gambling Commission, it became clear to GVC that there had been historic compliance failures within certain areas of the operations.” The GVC has claimed to have invested in increasing its efforts to uphold the regulations implemented by the Gambling Commission.
Alexander commented further that “working closely with the Gambling Commission and an independent firm of solicitors, GVC facilitated a thorough, prompt and far-reaching investigation which has left to today’s settlement.” And that “These historical failings were unacceptable and since the acquisition I have overseen a systematic review of the enlarged group’s player protection procedures and the individuals responsible for these problems have exited the business.”