Rank Group Slapped With Hefty Fine

Published By Mia Gardner : 11 Oct 2018 | Last Updated: 28 Dec 2020

The UK Gambling Commission has been relentless in its pursuit of better gambling practices, with the Rank Group being the latest to have come under its unforgiving hammer for irresponsible behaviour. The Commission has fined the group with a hefty £500 000 penalty after it became apparent that the group had failed to apply due diligence in terms of customer safety, allowing a player to lose a massive £1 million in a matter of 24 hours.

The customer gambled away the money at the Rank Group’s land-based Grosvenor Casino as well as at the casino’s online site, and all in a day’s work. Upon investigation, the Commission found that they had failed to intervene, despite the player having had displayed some very extreme and irresponsible behaviour.

High-Rollers Are Not Exempt

To add insult to injury, Rank had also failed to respect the player’s self-exclusion instructions, and had proceeded to contact the customer during the stipulated self-exclusion period. In addition to all of this, the group had offered credit to the player, which constitutes a gross violation of the Gambling Commission’s rules and regulations.

Executive Director of the Commission, Richard Watson, said that it was a common mistake on the part of operators to assume that high-rolling VIP players did not experience difficulty with reckless gambling habits simply because they could mitigate their losses. Watson cautioned that VIP players needed as much protection and assistance than any other player.

Watson emphasised the fact that it was highly inappropriate for casinos to visit customers during periods of self-exclusion.

Transparency Pays

Watson did commend the operator on having instantly responded to the Commission’s enquiries. He said that fact that there was an immediate reaction was the reason that the group had received a lower than usual fine.

According to Watson, Rank had been open and transparent during th course of the investigation, and that the group had immediately investigated its own actions, and admitted to the wrongdoings that had taken place.

The fine may have been lower than expected, but it’s bound to set the Rank Group back even further. In August of this year, the group reported a drop in operational revenue income to the tune of 8% on a year-on-year comparison basis.

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