LeoVegas investigated for marketing to problem gambler
LeoVegas is under fire for allegedly sending marketing materials to a problem gambler who was using stolen money to fund gambling sprees and had already been flagged as a potential gambling addict by the company. Is this a case of negligence, or an inevitable result of the complexity of the gaming business and its myriad of interrelated companies and websites?
At the heart of the issue is a UK man who spent £20,000 ($26,000 USD) in May 2018 on sites owned by LeoVegas including Pink Casino and Castle Jackpot. That money, unfortunately, came from a credit card that belonged to the man’s mother. Though the customer was flagged, and is facing potential prosecution, he continued to receive marketing materials from LeoVegas affiliated sites.
In January 2019, the man once again used his mother’s card to make a deposit, this time with 21.co.uk, which is also owned by LeoVegas. This time, the man spent the money before the company got a chance to actually check his ID.
This infuriated Labour Deputy Tom Watson who told the Guardian, “It makes no sense for gambling companies to be doing ID and affordability checks after gamblers have lost huge sums rather than before they’ve placed the bets.”
A spokesperson for the UKGC chimed in with his own views saying, “We are absolutely clear with operators about the rules that they must follow to prevent and protect their customers from experiencing harm from gambling. Where we see evidence that those rules are not being followed, we will investigate.”
LeoVegas officials defended themselves in a statement made to CalvinAyre.com saying, “The acquisitions in the UK have entailed complexity in terms of synchronizing databases, routines and processes. To manage it in the best way and follow the regulation, LeoVegas initiated an action plan last year. The plan has been communicated to the UKGC and we are delivering accordingly. LeoVegas takes compliance very seriously and works consistently in order to ensure a safe experience for our customers and maintain its leading position as a trusted and safe operator.”
The investigation into the January incident is still ongoing.