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UKGC Fines Entain £17 Million for Social Responsibility Failures

Entain Group, one of the largest gambling operators, has been hit with a £17 million fine by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

The fine is said to relate to failings with both Entain’s online and land-based businesses. It will pay a £14 million fine for failures with its online LC International Limited business, which is behind 13 websites, and a further £3 million fine for failures with its Ladbrokes operations.

The UKGC found that the group was either slow to interact with certain customers in order to minimize their risk of gambling harms. For example, Entain had just one chat interaction with a customer who had spent long periods gambling overnight over the course of 18 months and had deposited £230,845.

The regulator also found that Entain allowed customers who were subject to enquires and restrictions to open multiple accounts with the group’s other brands. For example, the UKGC found a customer who had been blocked at Coral for spending £60,000 in 12 months and failing to provide a source of funds was able to open an account with Ladbrokes and deposit £30,000 on one day.

Entain was also found to have neglected its duty to carry out risk assessments of how the online business may be used for money laundering and terrorist financing. It allowed customers to deposit large amounts without carrying out adequate source of funds checks. For example, a customer was able to deposit £742,000 in 14 months without a source of funds check a second customer, known to live in social housing, was able to deposit £186,000 in six months.

Our investigation revealed serious failures that have resulted in the largest enforcement outcome to date. There were completely unacceptable anti-money laundering and safer gambling failures. Operators are reminded they must never place commercial considerations over compliance. This is the second time this operator has fallen foul of rules in place to make gambling safer and crime-free. They should be aware we will be monitoring them very carefully and further serious breaches will make the removal of their licence to operate a very real possibility. We expect better and consumers deserve better.

Andrew RhodesGambling Commission CEO

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