Entain Group, the operator, has been fined £17 million ($20.6 million) for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures in both its online and land-based businesses.
The group will pay £14 million for failures at LC International Limited, which operates 13 websites, and £3 million for failures at Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited, which operates across the UK.
In addition to the fine, the group will be subject to a number of license conditions.
Among the issues identified by the Gambling Commission, the report noted slow (or lack of) interaction with certain customers in a way that reduced their risk of experiencing harms associated with gambling (more specifically, the operator conducted one single chat interaction with an online customer who spent extended periods gambling overnight over an 18-month period, depositing £230,845).
Another issue that was discovered was that customers who were subject to inquiries and restrictions were permitted to open multiple accounts with the licensee’s other brands. For example, one customer who was barred from using the Coral brand because they spent £60,000 in 12 months and failed to provide a source of funds was able to open an account with the Ladbrokes brand immediately and deposit £30,000 in a single day.
In terms of anti-money laundering, the group failed to conduct adequate risk assessments of the risks of the online business being used for money laundering and terrorist financing, and allowed online customers to deposit large sums without performing proper source of funds checks.
Another customer, who was known to live in social housing, was allowed to deposit £742,000 in 14 months without an appropriate source of funds check, while another customer was allowed to deposit £186,000 in six months.
“Our investigation revealed serious failures that have resulted in the largest enforcement outcome to date,” said Andrew Rhodes, CEO of the Gambling Commission.
“There were completely unacceptable failures in anti-money laundering and safer gambling.” Operators are reminded that commercial considerations should never take precedence over compliance. This is the second time this operator has violated rules designed to keep gambling safe and crime-free.
“They should be aware that we will be closely monitoring them, and that any further serious violations will result in the loss of their operating license.” Better is expected, and consumers deserve better.”