Paddy Power Betfair Fined £2.2M by the UK Gambling Commission

Paddy Power Betfair

Paddy Power Betfair has been fined £2.2 million by the UK Gambling Commission.

The Irish bookmaker was also fined for failing to protect customers and failing to prevent stolen money from being gambled, The Guardian reports.

Its charges relate to offences from 2016 when the firm breached the UK Gambling Commission’s social responsibility code provision which relates to customer interaction and anti-money laundering guidance.

Paddy Power Betfair’s charges involve two customers using stolen money at the firm’s Betfair Exchange. One of the customers was Simon price, the former boss of Birmingham Dogs Home, who had stolen £900,000 from the charity over a four-year period and used some of it for gambling.

In addition, a further three customers were allowed to gamble in shops and on Paddy Power’s website without the firm undergoing responsibility checks.

Paddy Power’s Mistakes

Paddy Power, the largest betting operator in Ireland, has accepted the findings and will pay a total fine of £2.2 million which include a £1.7 million donation to GameAware, a total of £498,508 paid back to Birmingham Dogs Home as well as a payment of £50,045 to cover the UK Gambling Commission’s investigative costs.

Richard Watson, the UK Gambling Commission’s Executive Director, said in a statement: “As a result of Paddy Power Betfair’s failings, significant amounts of stolen money flowed through their exchange and this is simply not acceptable.

“These failings all stem from one simple principle: operators must know their customer. If they know their customer and ask the right questions then they place themselves in a strong position to meet their anti-money-laundering and social responsibility obligations.”

Paddy Power has since stated that it’s working on improving its processes in order to avoid incidents like this from happening again.

The news comes after Paddy Power’s shares fell 5% after the Irish government announced plans to double betting taxes. The betting tax increases will come into effect from January 1, 2019, but the bookmaker claims the changes will lead to the loss of around 1,500 jobs.

As Irish gambling leaders insisted that the tax increase would “kill” the industry, Paddy Power revealed that the new tax would increase the company’s annual betting duties by £20 million.