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Paddy Power Betfair Hit With £490,000 UKGC Fine

Paddy Power Betfair was hit with a £490,000 ($606,000 USD) by the UK Gaming Commission (UKGC) for promoting its services to players who are on the national self-exclusion list. The company’s violations are relatively minor in the big picture, but the case shows that the UKGC is very serious about enforcing the sanctity of the self-exclusion list in its battle against problem gambling.

According to the UKGC’s summary of the case, Paddy Power Betfair (who’s license is under PPB Counterparty Services Limited) sent out push notifications on November 21 with an offer of enhanced odds on a Premier League match to self-excluded players. Under UK gaming regulations, self-excluded players are supposed to be entirely removed from an operator’s database.

Though the violation occurred almost two years ago, and the initial regulatory action occurred on May 9 of this year, the company unsuccessfully appealed the violation, which delayed the final action until this week.

Besides the £490,000 fine, Paddy Power Betfair also agreed to having a third-party audit its marketing and communications workflow to insure that similar violations don’t take place.

Gambling Commission Executive Director of Operations, Kay Roberts summed up the situation saying, “Although there is no evidence the marketing was intentional, nor that all the people with apps saw the notification or that self-excluded customers were allowed to gamble, we take such breaches seriously.

“We would advise all operators to learn from the operator’s failures and ensure their systems are robust enough to always prevent self-excluded customers from being sent promotional material.”

This is the second major regulatory action undertaken by the Commission this week. On Monday, Skill On Net Limited was hit with a £305,150 fine for social responsibility and anti-money laundering violations.