Ladbrokes Coral Fined £2.3 Million For Failing To Protect Customers
The UKGC has been very vocal of late in showing their teeth. Huge fines dished out to operators like 888 and Lottoland are just a few examples of what is becoming a common pattern. The political debate over gambling in the UK and in particular regarding the fixed odds betting terminals has resulted in mounting pressure from all sides on the Gambling Commission to ensure UK punters are protected from unscrupulous practices.
The latest case in had is that of Ladbrokes Coral who were just fined £2.3 million after what was dubbed as a “failing to interact” with two punters that blew over £1.3 million playing their online games of which a portion of the money spent was stolen.
Significant flaws were found by the Gambling Commission in the way the Gala Group handled players with troublesome behavior. It was found that there was lack of written procedures and policies in place that could have helped in controlling the problem.
The sums lost by the two players was significant with £837,545 lost by one over 14 months and £432,765 lost over 11 months by the other. To add to the problem, the first gambler did a stint of four years in jail for stealing from an employer while the second player also received a four and a half tear sentence for acquiring and possessing stolen property.
Gala has been increasing their online activities in an effort to make up for the potential losses on FOBTs. The Gambling Commission had already pointed out failings to Gala. Despite pledges from Gala to identify problem gamblers sooner, these latest two players were allowed to pass through their net.
Gambling Commission CEO Sara Harrison wanted to send a clear message to all operators and said,” We will continue to take robust action where we see operator failures that harm consumers and the wider public. ‘It is the responsibility of all operators – particularly key decision makers in those companies – to ensure they are protecting their customers and step in when there is behaviour that might indicate problem gambling.
Ladbrokes boss Jim Mullen acknowledged that they had not met their own standards or those demanded by the Commission.