Betfred Pays £800,000 Ante to UKGC After VIP Betting Incident

Betfred pays £800,000+ to UKGC.

Fred Done’s Betfred agrees to pay a settlement after a VIP players wager almost £800,000 with illicit funds. (Image: manchestereveningnews.co.uk)

Betfred, the Gibraltar-based online sports betting operator, has been forced to pay the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) more than £800,000.

Following an investigation into the betting habits of Betfred VIP Matthew Stevens, the UKGC has concluded that operator’s anti-money laundering policies fell short of expectations.

According to reports, Stevens pleaded guilty to stealing £856,700 from his employer to fund his betting activities.

Although Stevens isn’t thought to have spent the majority of his illicit funds at Betfred, the operator has agreed to a voluntary settlement of £787,500.

UKGC Working to Curb Betting Infractions

From that amount, £443,000 will go to the victims of Steven’s crimes while the rest will go to help the UKGC’s socially responsible causes. In addition to the voluntary settlement, Betfred has also agreed to cover the UKGC’s £30,240 costs.

In light of the incident, Betfred has “strengthened” its policies according to a statement from an official spokesperson.

As for the UKGC, the resolution of the latest case takes its total recovered from regulatory infractions over the last 10 months to £3.75 million.

“The outcomes and findings in these cases provide a clear signal to operators of the need to learn the lessons from these for social responsibility and money laundering controls, or risk facing tougher sanctions,” read a statement from the gambling regulator.

Priest Goes Rogue with Parish Funds

In related news this week, a priest from Scotland is believed to have stolen £96,000 to fund his gambling habit.

Graeme Bell from the parish of North Ayrshire first came to the attention of the local authorities in June 2015 after a number of “financial irregularities” were reported.

Further investigations revealed that Bell was spending thousands of pounds at various online casinos to play roulette. However, after evidence of his crimes came to light, Bell admitted to charges of embezzlement at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

In sentencing, Sheriff Alistair Watson told Bell he’d breached the trust of his parishioners and the amount stolen was far from inconsequential.

“I can take an exceptionally low starting point for the sentence but I feel I would be failing in my duty if I did not impose custody,” said Watson as he sentenced Bell to 10 months in jail. 

Bell was already attending Gambler’s Anonymous meetings prior to sentencing, but he has been asked to undergo further counseling after his release.

While any stories of players gambling beyond their means is never a good sign, it’s encouraging to see the relevant authorities are doing everything in their power to tackle the situations as and when they occur.

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