Entain to pay £17m for social responsibility and AML failures

Operator Entain Group has to pay £17m ($20.6m) for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures, for both its online and land-based businesses.

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Operator Entain Group has to pay £17m ($20.6m) for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures, for both its online and land-based businesses.

The group will pay £14m for failures at its online business LC International Limited which runs 13 websites, and £3m for failures at its Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited operating across the UK.

In addition to the fine, the group will also be facing several licence conditions.

Among the issues found by the Gambling Commission, the report noted slow (or lack of) interaction with certain customers, in a way that minimised their risk of experiencing harms associated with gambling (more precisely, the operator conducted one single chat interaction with an online customer who spent extended periods gambling overnight during an 18-month period in which they deposited £230,845).

Another issue uncovered was that customers being subject to enquiries and restrictions were allowed to open multiple accounts with the licensee’s other brands. For example, one customer who was blocked with the Coral brand because they spent £60,000 in 12 months and failed to provide a source of funds was immediately able to open an account with Ladbrokes brand and deposit £30,000 in a single day.

In terms of anti-money laundering issues, the group failed to conduct adequate risk assessments of the risks to the online business being used for money laundering and terrorist financing, and allowed online customers to deposit large amounts without carrying out the proper source of funds checks.

In another example, one customer was allowed to deposit £742,000 in 14 months without an appropriate source of funds checks, while another customer, who was known to live in social housing, was allowed to deposit £186,000 in six months.

Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission CEO, said: “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.”

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