Ladbrokes Coral Group fined more than $7 million
Ladbrokes Coral is one of the biggest and most well-known bookmakers in the UK. It is a shock that they have been fined more than $7 million due to not conforming to regulations put upon them. Specifically, they have failed to effectively prevent money laundering and have been hit with a large fine.
From the early 2010s
The Guardian confirmed that the fine is related to seven incidents that took place during the time period 2013 - 2017. It is the largest ever fine imposed by the UKGC and as such shows just how serious they are taking the issues that relate to Ladbrokes Coral.
Ladbrokes Coral was recently bought by GVC Holdings for almost $4 billion. While it may seem unfair to fine the new owners for issues that occurred under a previous owner’s watch, the UKGC also has to ensure that they do not allow their rules to be flouted. The fines come about because Ladbrokes Coral made no effort to pursue correct social gaming when people with gambling issues lost huge sums of money.
Acting in a socially responsible manner
The UKGC reported to The Guardian that the most obvious issue took place with one customer who had lost almost $2 million over the previous three years. Ladbrokes Coral made no attempt to find out what the source of his funds was as well as not carrying out any interactions with the player in terms of social responsibility. Despite the player was logging into their account a large number of times each day and managed to lose almost $80,000 in just a month, there were no interactions from them. This is the trademark sign of having a problem, yet Ladbrokes Coral did nothing to try and halt this.
Another player also lost over $100,000 in almost three years. What was most striking about this player was that Ladbrokes Coral decided to do nothing even though there had been almost 500 declined deposits to the account of this player and they had asked Ladbrokes Coral to remove any marketing from being sent to their account.
Poor verification protocols
Not only this, but Ladbrokes Coral was also not able to show evidence that they had made any effort to fulfill their social responsibility to another player who had shown big signs of having a problem. This player had deposited almost $200,000 in just four months. The UKGC also found evidence that there was another player who Ladbrokes Coral had identified as having a big problem, but still allowed them to continue placing wagers through their services.
The UKGC commented that there were huge problems with Ladbrokes Coral at the time. They didn’t do enough to stop players with problems from playing and this lead to money that had a high chance of not being legitimate being used to play at their bookmaker.
GVC taking responsibility
Despite not owning Ladbrokes Coral at the time, GVC has agreed to pay the penalty, which will be split between a number of causes to help gambling addiction as well as paying out to people who were victims of crimes in order to pay for wagers at Ladbrokes Coral.
Investigations into Ladbrokes Coral
GVC released that they had discovered historic compliance failures in their operations almost as soon as they had bought Ladbrokes Coral. They intend to conduct their own inquiry into the business to ensure that this does not happen again in the future. They will be working with the UKGC as well as a collection of independent solicitors. This was undertaken before they agreed to pay the settlement, but when they discovered that the allegations were true, they agreed to the fine in full.
GVC also said that they know the issues were historical ones but they intend to improve the player verification and protection protocols within their business. This is to ensure that they do not make the same mistakes again and that players can be safe when playing at Ladbrokes Coral.
GVC also intend to investigate a number of other cases that are outstanding. On top of this, they will also look into the top 50 customers to make sure that they have not been undergoing similar activity. While GVC is attempting to make it clear that the infractions occurred before they took over the company, they are also willing to take responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.