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Paddy Power Penalized For Lack of Social Responsibility

Posted on Oct 20, 2018

The impervious UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has just caught another culprit red-handed and stopped them from preventing further offences right in their tracks...

...Possibly the world’s most strict regulatory body, UKGC has fined London Stock Exchange-listed online operator Paddy Power Betfair, for social responsibility and money laundering failures.

No Room for Error:

Paddy Power will have to pay the £2.2 million penalty – this is the price for omissions in protecting vulnerable players and for letting the money of suspicious origin be gambled.

UKGC’s investigation has come to the conclusion that Paddy Power’s representatives disregarded or did not recognize the signs of problem gambling with certain customers and did not interact adequately with them...

...They also did not perform the obligatory anti-money laundering checks with two customers who were using their betting exchange and three others who gambled using retail premises.

UKGC’s Executive Director, Richard Watson, stated: “As a result of Paddy Power Betfair’s failings significant amounts of stolen money flowed through their exchange and this is simply not acceptable. Operators have a duty to all of their customers to seek to prevent the proceeds of crime from being used in gambling.”

He also clarified that these failings all boil down to one same simple principle which is that operators should know their customers, and Paddy Power Betfair didn’t know theirs in this instance. Asking customers the right questions is vital to “placing themselves in a position where they can meet the social obligations.”

Accepting What’s Coming To You:

Paddy Power immediately released the statement in which they accept UKGC’s results of investigation and oblige to improve the areas which left a lot to be desired this time around...

...Specifically, the breach of social responsibility code provision 3.4.1 which relates to customer interaction. Five customers were showing signs of problem gambling and were still allowed to gamble.

Also, the UKGC guidance on anti-money laundering – The Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism – Guidance for remote and non-remote casinos – was acted against by offering a customer to bet on an exchange. This makes the operator liable in social responsibility provisions for all money through the exchange.

UKGC took the following into account when determining the outcome of this investigation:

  • The value of stolen money flowing through the exchange
  • Stolen funds paid into exchange
  • Operator has shown full infight into their failings
  • Operator cooperated with the Commission in a transparent manner

The penalty will consist of £498,508 divestment of the monies received, £1,717,121 financial penalty which will be directed to work which accelerates delivery of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy and payment of £50,045 towards UKGC’s investigative costs.

Having acknowledged that some of their policies were ineffective at a relevant time, the operator has learned considerately from this case and are already working improving their responsible gambling processes.

Source: “Paddy Power Betfair to pay penalty package for social responsibility and money laundering failures on its gambling exchangeGambling Commission. October 16, 2018.

Comment: I bet they will now think several times before letting someone suspicious gamble – AND paying closer attention to those with problems.

By Andrej Vidovic

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