888 Holdings Facing UKGC Disciplinary Action As Wayne Rooney Loses £500K

888 Holdings could be facing a substantial fine or worse following a review of its social responsibility practices by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

Wayne Rooney loses £500,000.

888 Holdings is under investigation by the UKGC as Wayne Rooney reportedly loses £500,000 in a Manchester casino. (Image: cdn.images.dailystar.co.uk/Getty)

According to statement published by 888 Holdings on May 15, the UKGC is unhappy with the way one of its subsidiary sites handles things such as self-exclusion.

Although the operator hasn’t made it clear where the potential breach occurred, the implication is that it may have to enact a blanket policy change.

As part of the announcement, 888 Holdings stated that it will be co-operating fully with the UKGC’s review and that it will do everything to ensure customer safety is paramount. However, despite these assurances, the company’s share price dropped by as much as 10 percent following the news.

UKGC is Review is Bad for Business

Although the share price has since recovered, the UKGC’s tough stance on failures to comply with its regulations appears to have spooked the market. Being a publically traded company on the London Stock Exchange means that investigations ultimately become public business.

In this instance, it appears as though previous actions by the UKGC have raised a red flag. Since it took control of the UK’s iGaming industry in November 2014, the UKGC hasn’t been afraid to take action against operators of all sizes.

As well as shutting down small sites such as Fairbet, the UKGC has fined Paddy Power and bgo more than £600,000 combined for failing to comply with the rules. Although the review of 888 Holdings is ongoing, there’s a chance it could be hit with a similar fine.

While the UKGC would be within its right to revoke the operator’s licence, this seems unlikely given the size of 888 Holdings and its positive record up until this point.

Rooney Drops £500K

In other UK gambling news this week, Wayne Rooney has reportedly been on a betting spree worth £500,000. The Manchester United forward was spotted at Manchester’s 235 casino playing blackjack and roulette.

According to witnesses talking to The Mirror, Rooney was switching between the two games while drinking.

“He was gambling a lot on red when he was playing roulette — which seemed appropriate — and was putting long-shot bets on solo numbers. He kept losing but that just prompted him to bet more,” said one unnamed witness.

The report suggestions he was betting £4,000-a-round and, by the time he decided to stop, he was around £500,000 in the hole. Rooney has long been a fan of gambling and earns around £300,000 a week from his United contract alone, but this is certainly not a losing streak he’ll want to repeat too many times.

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