Gambling operator Entain has been fined £17 million over multiple failings.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced the fine today (August 17th), revealing that Entain Group will pay £14 million for failures through its LC International Limited business, which runs 13 websites, including ladbrokes.com, foxybingo.com, and coral.co.uk.
The firm will also pay an additional £3 million for failures through its Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited operation, which runs over 2,000 gambling premises across England.
The entire £17 million fund will be distributed towards socially responsible purposes, and the Commission has imposed additional licence conditions to Entain to ensure a business board member overseas an improvement plan and that a third-party audit is conducted within 12 months.
According to the Commission’s investigation, Entain was slow to interact with or failed to interact with certain customers in a way that minimised their risk of experiencing gambling-related harm.
The operator reportedly conducted only one chat interaction with an online customer who spent extended periods gambling overnight during an 18-month period in which they deposited over £200,000.
What’s more, Entain allowed customers subject to enquiries and restrictions to open multiple accounts with Entain’s various brands and failed to escalate a customer for a safer gambling review after they staked over £29,000 and lost more than £11,000 in a single month.
In addition, the Commission found that Entain failed to conduct an adequate risk assessment of the risks of their online business being used for money laundering and terrorist financing, and allowed online customers to deposit large amounts without carrying out Source Of Funds checks.
Entain reportedly also failed to conduct enhanced customer due diligence checks and placed excessive reliance on open-source information. The firm also allowed customers to stake large amounts of money without having been monitored or scrutinised.
Andrew Rhodes, the Gambling Commission Chief Executive, said in a statement: “Our investigation revealed serious failures that have resulted in the largest enforcement outcome to date.
“There were completely unacceptable anti-money laundering and safer gambling failures. Operators are reminded they must never place commercial considerations over compliance.”
He continued: “This is the second time this operator has fallen foul of rules in place to make gambling safer and crime-free.
“They should be aware that we will be monitoring them very carefully and further serious breaches will make the removal of their licence to operate a very real possibility. We expect better and consumers deserve better.”