888 gambling firm fined a record £7.8m penalty package for failing to protect customers
September 5, 2017
“UK Gambling commission hits 888 Holdings with an unprecedented fine after “significant flaws” were found in the firm’s social responsibility processes.
Ordered To Pay Penalties
The online gambling firm 888.com have been ordered to pay a record penalty of £7.8m after failing to protect thousands of gamblers from betting on their site, according to the UK Gambling Commission.
888 were found to have prevented over 7,000 people from self-excluding themselves (asking the bookmaker to block their bets) from the online casino including one customer who bet more than £1.3m over 13 months. The customer in question also stole £55,000 from their employer to wager on 888.
It is a pre-requisite for online casinos to monitor their self-exclusion facility so the customers can bar themselves from gambling but, “888 didn’t deliver it as effectively as they should have done,” according to the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission Sarah Harrison.
“The lack of interaction with the customers, given the frequency, duration and sums of money involved in the gambling, raised serious concerns about 888’s safeguarding of customers at-risk of gambling harm…”
“The lack of interaction with the customers, given the frequency, duration and sums of money involved in the gambling, raised serious concerns about 888’s safeguarding of customers at-risk of gambling harm,” Harrison went on to say.
£3.5m of the fine will be repaid to the customers who opted to self-exclude themselves but were unable to do so, £4.25m of the fine will help to tackle gambling-related harm, while £62,000 will be given in compensation to the employer’s whose money was stolen.
The record fine of £7.8m is the biggest given out by the UK Gambling Commission since the National Lottery were penalised £3m in 2016 for failings in paying out on a fraudulent ticket.
“The 888 sanction package will ensure those affected don’t lose out, that the operator pays the price for its failings via a sum that will go to tackling gambling-related harm, and that independent assurance will be given to see that lessons are learnt,” concluded Harrison.
888 Released A Statement
888, who offer poker, bingo and sports betting, along with its online casino released a statement saying, “888 has fully cooperated with the UKGC throughout this process and has concluded a voluntary regulatory settlement with the UKGC.
888 regrets the historic failings highlighted by the review and accepts the conclusion of the review which recognises the significant lengths that 888 has gone to in order to address the concerns raised and prevent the issues highlighted from reoccurring.”