Author: Niall Hearty 2 September 2022
Entain Plc, the owner of bookmaker Ladbrokes, has been fined £17 million for a lack of money laundering and customer checks.
The company was warned by the industry regulator, the UK Gambling Commission that it could lose its licence if such behaviour is repeated.
The fine, which is the largest penalty handed out by the regulator to date, was for failures that happened between December 2019 and October 2020. Entain Group will pay £14 million for failures at its online business LC International Limited; which runs 13 websites including ladbrokes.com, coral.co.uk and foxybingo.com. It will also pay £3 million for failures at its Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Limited operation, which runs 2,746 gambling premises across Britain.
The company was found to have had just one interaction with an online customer who used the site frequently and went on to spend £230,845 over an 18-month period. Another customer who was blocked by the bookmaker Coral after failing to prove the source of their funds was able to sign up to Ladbrokes without any problems – and spent £30,000 in one day on the site.
This record fine may act as a strong warning to other gambling companies, who may now be more inclined to tread carefully when it comes to conducting anti-money laundering checks and monitoring customer behaviour.
As Entain Plc recorded a £3.9 billion annual revenue, it remains to be seen whether this penalty will have a positive effect on the way it works. What may be significant is the Gambling Commission’s intention to monitor the company closely after these breaches.
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