Online gambling regulator has fined the 888 gambling site with a record fine of £7.8 million for failing to freeze the accounts of troubled gamblers, saying that in one case the problem was “so severe that it led to criminal behavior.”
The British Gaming Council (UKGC) launched an investigation against online casino operator 888 in May and today announced the fine “as a result of failing to properly manage vulnerable customers.”
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UKGC found two major failures in 888’s conduct with regard to vulnerable customers:
- The first default concerns 7,000 of the company’s independent customers who block their accounts on the site due to their gambling problem. These customers were denied access to the company’s sites such as the 888 Casino, the poker sites, and the sports betting, but they could still enter the company’s bingo platform. These customers spent £ 3.5 million within 13 months.
- The second is that 888 also failed to identify the warning signs of one of its clients, who gambled £1.3 million at its sites within a period of 13 months, of which £55,000 was stolen by the client from his employer. The person in question gambled three to four times a day and UKGC said: “The lack of interaction with the customer, 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 company’s interest is not optional and the fine against the company will ensure that those affected by these omissions will not be harmed and that the operator will pay the price for its defaults through the fine money that will be used to handle gambling damages,” gambling company head Sarah Harrison said in a statement. Independently of the fact that the lesson has been properly studied. ”
The fine included 3.5 million pounds returned to those who blocked their own accounts at the site but could still access the bingo site £ 62,000 to the employer from whom the money was stolen (including compensation); £ 4.25 million for “social welfare activities related to the treatment of gambling damages”.