UKGC Tames LeoVegas with £600K Fine

Self-excluded.

LeoVegas feels the force of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) after failing to protect self-excluded players. (Image: Association of British Bookmakers Ltd)

LeoVegas has been hit with a six-figure fine by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for a series of misleading adverts and successive social responsibility failures.

Announced on May 2, the latest high-profile scolding will see LeoVegas hand over £600,000 as well as any earnings gained from a result of the adjudged failures. Heading the list of charges for the UK betting and gaming site were 41 adverts.

In the same way Lottoland and Bgo were reprimanded for failing to accurately describe their products and services, LeoVegas has fallen short of the advertising standards expected.

Vulnerable Players Let Down

In addition to its “misleading” adverts, the operator made a trio of mistakes when handling self-excluded players.

“Failed to return funds to 11,205 customers when they chose to self-exclude and close their account.

Sent marketing material to 1,894 people who had previously self-excluded.

Allowed 413 previously self-excluded customers to gamble without speaking to those customers first or applying a 24-hour cooling off period before allowing them to gamble,” read the UKGC’s May 2 announcement.

In light of the self-exclusion failures, the UKGC has ordered LeoVegas to pay back those affected and cover the costs of the investigation. For UKGC chief executive Neil McArthur, incidents like these need to be stamped out as quickly as possible.

“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,” McArthur said in a press statement.

High Standards Needed Ahead of the World Cup

News of another UKGC fine comes just days after the Senate Group called for operators to embrace its responsible gambling message. After research showed the group’s “when the fun stops, stop” campaign to be an effective way to reach gamblers, it now wants it to become an industry standard.

With the World Cup in Russia set to get underway in June, industry insiders are expecting more than £1 billion to be wagered by British punters this summer. To ensure consumers are protected, gambling groups across the country are pushing for greater levels of social responsibility.

For its part, the UKGC recently published its 2018-2019 plan. Setting out its intentions for the coming year, the regulator said it wants to make responsible gaming measures part of the software design process.

By encouraging developers to incorporate automatic checks into their systems, UKGC executives are hopeful that incidents such as ones at LeoVegas can be avoided in the future. 

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