UK Gambling Regulators Hit LeoVegas with $800,000 Fine
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGCO has been very busy over the last year, doling out fines to gaming operators who run afoul of both regulations and the whims of angry UK citizens. Earlier this week, LeoVegas became the latest operator to earn the ire of the UKGC when it was hit with a £600,000 ($818,000 USD) fine for failing to protect problem gamblers.
According to a report posted on the Gambling Commission’s website, LeoVegas failed to return money collected from more than 11,000 players who asked to be self-excluded from the company’s products.
Along those same lines, the UKGC also says that LeoVegas sent marketing materials to nearly 1,500 players who had previously asked to be self-excluded. Another 413 previously self-excluded players were also allowed to renew their accounts without waiting the legally prescribed 24-hour cooling off period.
Neil McArthur, the Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive was clearly using LeoVegas as an example to other operators and described the situation as follows:
The outcome of this case should leave no one in any doubt that we will be tough with licence holders who mislead consumers or fail to meet the standards we set in our licence conditions and codes of practice. We want operators to learn the lessons from our investigations and use those lessons to raise standards.
Though LeoVegas’ corporate offices will ultimately take the hit for the errors, the problem apparently came from some overenthusiastic affiliates who were either unaware of the UK regulations, or simply didn’t care about them in the first place. A company spokesperson went on to praise the UKGC for holding the gambling industry to high standards and pointed out that a regulated market is actually a good thing for the industry’s “serious actors.”