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Paddy Power Betfair Slapped With Heavy Fine

Mia Gardner | 17 Oct 2018

The notoriously eagle-eyed UK Gambling Commission has flexed the muscles of justice once more and has imposed a heavy penalty of £2.2 million on major online casino operator Paddy Power Betfair (PPB), due to the operator’s failure to properly protect players as well as for neglecting to apply the necessary caution in order to prevent money laundering.

The regulator has said that PPB did not step up to the plate as a far as the promotion of social responsibility is concerned.  And as far as gambling with stolen money is concerned, money laundering is a major problem in the UK.

Not The First For The Year

The Paddy Power Betfair penalty constitutes the fourth fine exceeding £1 million to have been imposed by the regulator for this year alone. Other operators to have been slapped with similar fines are William Hill (£6.2 million), 32Red (£2 million), and the recently Stars Group-acquired Sky Bet (£1 million).

The Commission had conducted an investigation and had reportedly discovered that the operator had failed to even interact with customers who were displaying signs of problem gambling, let alone suggest measures of protection to those players. As far as the allegations of failing to prevent money laundering are concerned, it was revealed that two customers were using PPB’s betting exchange programme in order to do away with dirty money. Three more people had opted to make use of Paddy’s online casino platform as well as its retail outlet.

A Lack Of Due Diligence

The allegations were first instituted back in 2016, and since, PPB has made some significant changes and improvements in order to prevent a repeat of the incidents. The operator also issued a formal statement, and admitted to the fact that there were in fact loopholes in its responsible gambling and anti money laundering policies. The company conceded to the fact that it was in fact in breach of its UK licence conditions, if not wilfully, then as a result of gross negligence.

The UK Gambling Commission’s Executive Director, Richard Watson, said that the fine may appear to be extreme, but that significant amounts of stolen money had passed through Paddy’s exchange system, and that according to UK-policy, this was completely unacceptable. Watson said that it was crucial that businesses in the industry get to know their players better and learn how to apply due diligence when it comes to identifying potential problem players.

Sources:

http://www.igamingbusiness.com