Ladbrokes Coral Slapped with £5.9 Million Fine for Failing Vulnerable Customers

Ladbrokes Coral has been fined £5.9 million for anti-money laundering failures but owner GVC Holdings maintain it’s a historical issue.

Ladbrokes Coral fined

Ladbrokes Coral failed to spot four counts of problem gambling among customers that wagered more than £1.5 million. (Image: Daily Business Group)

In a notice published by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) on July 31, details of the infraction were made public.

At the heart of the latest British betting scandal are rogue deposits and spending totalling more than £1.5 million.

Ladbrokes Coral Fails in Four Areas

As per the UKGC notice, Ladbrokes Coral failed in the following areas:

One customer lost £98,000 despite having 460 deposits declined and previously asking to stop receiving promotional material.

Coral failed to ask one customer to prove the source of their funds after displaying signs of problem gambling and wagering £1.5 million in just under three years.

Ladbrokes couldn’t provide evidence of social responsibility interactions with a customer that spent £140,000 in the first four months of their account being open.

Ladbrokes failed to carry out suitable checks on a customer already identified as being a concern.

In light of the failings, Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC will pay £4.8 million in lieu of a financial penalty and will divest £1.1 million gained from the customers caught up in the issue.

Additionally, UKGC executive director Richard Watson wants the disciplinary action to send a message to other UK gaming operators.

Decision makers at gambling businesses need to invest in the welfare of their customers and the integrity of money being gambled with. These were systemic failings at a large operator which resulted in consumers being harmed and stolen money flowing though the business and this is unacceptable,” Watson said in the July 31 press release.

For its part, GVC Holdings said that the failings occurred before it completed its acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral in March 2018. In a statement, the company said it “acknowledges” and “regrets” legacy systems in place that led to issues between 2014 and 2017.

Current Measures to Eliminate Historic Issues

Prior to receiving a £5.9 million fine, GVC has been one of the more active operators with regards to social responsibility. In January 2019, it partnered with Harvard Medical School to provide data that will be used to develop new methods of detecting problem gambling.

More recently, GVC called for a ban on all TV betting adverts. Part of its Changing for the Bettor campaign, the move echoed sentiments from gambling research groups and industry naysayers.

In light of these initiatives and the fact it wasn’t in charge when the social responsibility problems occurred, GVC and its share price should come through the latest incident relatively unscathed.

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