Entain, one of the UK’s biggest gaming operators, was hit with a £17 million fine from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for a variety of regulatory failures. The company’s record-breaking fine also came with a warning that future violations could result in the loss of its license.
The £17 million in fines was spread out across two separate fines of £14 million for violations related to LC International Limited and £3 million for vioations at Ladbrokes. The entire £17 million will be used by the Commission, “towards socially responsible purposes as part of a regulatory settlement,” according to a recent post on the UKGC’s website.
Entain’s violations of social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations reads like a laundry and includes failure to cut off problem gamblers from its retail shops; allowing problem gamblers to maintain multiple accounts; and failing to conduct due diligence checks on high rollers. One customer was allowed to stake £168,000 over eight months before retail betting shop staff took notice and checked on the source of his funds.
Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission chief executive commented on the record-breaking fine saying, “Our investigation revealed serious failures that have resulted in the largest enforcement outcome to date.
“There were completely unacceptable anti-money laundering and safer gambling failures. Operators are reminded they must never place commercial considerations over compliance.
“This is the second time this operator has fallen foul of rules in place to make gambling safer and crime free.
“They should be aware that we will be monitoring them very carefully and further serious breaches will make the removal of their licence to operate a very real possibility. We expect better and consumers deserve better.”
While £17 million is just a tiny piece of the action at Entain, the message associated it with the fine is no joking matter. Regulators don’t threaten to pull gaming licenses from anyone if they’re not serious about seeing real changes at the company.