24th Oct 2018
Paddy Power Betfair have been fined £2.2m for failing to protect customers who showed signs of problem gambling.
According to watchdog the Gambling Commission, Paddy Power “failed to adequately interact with customers who were displaying signs of problem gambling.”
Paddy Power has also been accused of failing to stop stolen money being used for gambling, with the Gambling Commission’s inquiry finding that they failed to carry out adequate money-laundering checks.
The Executive Director of the Gambling Commission, Richard Watson, said that as a result of Paddy Power’s failings, “significant amounts of stolen money flowed through their exchange”, a situation that he described as “simply not acceptable.”
The Gambling Commission’s inquiry focused on five customers in 2016, including two who were allowed to gamble using stolen money. The other three were betting “extensively”, both on the firm’s online platform and at their retail premises.
Richard Watson stressed that, in order to meet their “social responsibility obligations”, it is necessary for an operator to “know their customer and ask the right questions.” Something which, in this case, Paddy Power failed to do.
As part of the settlement, Paddy Power paid £1.7m to GambleAware, a charity which aims to reduce gambling-related harms in Britain. It also paid out £500,000 to the impacted parties.
Peter Jackson, Chief Executive of Paddy Power Betfair, said: “We have a responsibility to intervene when our customers show signs of problem gambling. In these five cases our interventions were not effective and we are very sorry that this occurred.”
He continued: “In recent years, we have invested in an extensive programme of work to strengthen our resources and systems in responsible gambling and customer protection.”