Christopher Harper

+44 (0)20 7242 0631 charper@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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Recent Gambling Commission penalty packages: don’t take the risk with regulators!

Regulatory / 29 October 2018

In the month of October alone, the Gambling Commission has reported two further regulatory settlements involving significant payments in lieu of penalties which would otherwise have been imposed on two separate gaming operators.

The Rank Group, which includes Mecca and Grosvenor Casinos, will pay £500,000 to GambleAware in lieu of a financial penalty.

Rank failed to positively interact with a customer who displayed problem gambling behaviour whilst using its services.  Rank also visited him at home during a period of self-exclusion from the gambling site he regularly used.  It also did not follow correct procedure in relation to the provision of credit.  In one 24-hour period, the customer lost £1 million that had been credited to his account.

In a separate case, Paddy Power Betfair has agreed a package of £2.2 million including £1.7 million in lieu of penalty and return of monies gambled which a customer had stolen from their charity employer.  Paddy Power too failed to adequately interact with customers displaying signs of problem gambling.  It also did not carry out adequate anti-money laundering checks.  Gambling Commission executive director, Richard Watson, said: “These failings all stem from one simple principle – operators must know their customer.”

These recent cases further highlight the risk to operators of failing to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and, indeed, in these cases, the terms of their own licences.

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