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Ladbrokes Coral fined £5.9m for failing vulnerable customers

31 July 2019

One of the UK’s largest bookmakers has been fined nearly £6m after they were found to have failed vulnerable customers and anti-money laundering measures.

The fine, one of the largest ever imposed by the Gambling Commission, was the result of multiple failures to act as problem gamblers lost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Multiple failings

The industry regulator released a list of multiple failings by Ladbrokes Coral, which included failing to prevent money laundering.

In one shocking example, Ladbrokes Coral failed to ask any questions of a customer who lost nearly £100,000 over two and half years.

The bookmaker also could not give any evidence of carrying out a social responsibility interaction with a customer who deposited more than £140,000 in the first four months of their account being open.

In one case, Ladbrokes had “significant concerns” about a customer but continued to allow them to place large wagers.

The failures took place between 2014 and 2017.

The bookmaker’s owner, Isle of Man-based GVC, will pay £4.8m to responsible gambling causes and will forfeit a further £1.1m to ‘affected parties’.

Response

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on problem gambling said: “I’m pleased the Gambling Commission has acted on this issue, but fear that these are not isolated cases.

“I believe that the industry does not act in a reasonable manner in how they deal with problem gambling or excessive gambling.”

CARE’s communications Manager, James Mildred said: “The failure of one of the UK’s biggest gambling firms to protect vulnerable customers is a shocking reminder of how much still needs to be done to hold the gambling industry to account.”

“It is absolutely right that Ladbrokes Coral is fined, but that being said, £5.9m is loose change to a major bookie and so it remains to be seen whether lessons will in fact be learned.”

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Gambling

While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Our vision is to see laws passed that will help protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

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