Online gambling operator LeoVegas has agreed to pay a £600,000 penalty package following a Gambling Commission (UKGC) investigation which revealed failings relating to misleading advertising and the handling of customers at the end of their self-exclusion period.
The UKGC investigation found that 41 website advertisements by them or their affiliates misled consumers by failing to include significant offer limitations, or had failed to present those limitations clearly enough.
In addition a total of 11,205 customers who had elected to self-exclude themselves from the company’s website did not have their account balances returned to them on the closure of their respective accounts.
1,894 customers who reached the end of their self-exclusion period had received marketing materials from LeoVegas without first confirming their acceptance of it, while a further 413 customers who had also reached the end of their self-exclusion period were able to access their accounts and gamble, without speaking to those customers first or applying a 24-hour cooling off period.
LeoVegas have agreed to pay a £600,000 penalty package, divest all funds held in its self-excluded accounts either by returning them directly to affected players or making payments to socially responsible causes and have agreed to make a payment of £13,000 towards the commission’s investigation costs.
Responding to the identified breaches, LeoVegas have closed all affected accounts and have implemented procedures to process the return of account balances within 48 hours of a self-exclusion.
In addition, every quarter it will also reconcile any account balances which could not be returned, or which are under £1.00, and make a donation of the equivalent amount to charities for socially responsible causes.
Detailing the investigation’s findings, Neil McArthur, the Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive said: “The outcome of this case should leave no one in any doubt that we will be tough with licence holders who mislead consumers or fail to meet the standards we set in our licence conditions and codes of practice.”
“We want operators to learn the lessons from our investigations and use those lessons to raise standards.”