Paddy Power Betfair Given £2.2m Penalty Package by UKGC
October 16, 2018
The bookmaking business Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) have received a fine £2.2m by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for “social responsibility” and “money laundering failures.”
The UKGC investigation related to the behaviour of five customers in 2016 which included a Betfair online exchange player who stole a significant amount of money from a charity he was employed by.
PPB were found to have inadequately interacted with the customers in question, all of who displayed signs of problem gambling, and also inadequately carried out money-laundering checks on all five players.
“As a result of Paddy Power Betfair’s failings significant amounts of stolen money flowed through their exchange and this is simply not acceptable,” said Richard Watson, the Gambling Commission Chief Executive. “Operators have a duty to all of their customers to seek to prevent the proceeds of crime from being used in gambling.
“These failings all stem from one simple principle – operators must know their customer. If they know their customer and ask the right questions then they place themselves in a strong position to meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.”
PBB will be ordered to pay the £2.2m to the UKGC of which they will spend on their responsible gambling strategy, while the settlement also includes returning the stolen money back to the charity.
“We have a responsibility to intervene when our customers show signs of problem gambling,” said the Paddy Power Betfair chief executive Peter Jackson. “In these five cases our interventions were not effective and we are very sorry that this occurred.
“In recent years, we have invested in an extensive programme of work to strengthen our resources and systems in responsible gambling and customer protection.”
In 2016, the gambling firm were also fined £280,000 for failing to adequately protect two problem gamblers.