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Entain Fined £17m by UKGC

Following significant failures, the company is subject to the highest fine imposed by the Gambling Commission to date.

Entain Fined £17m by UKGC
Entain Fined £17m by UKGC

Due to violations of social responsibility and anti-money laundering at its offline and online operations, Entain is forced to pay £17 million in damages.

Entain, which owns LC International Ltd and operates websites including Coral, Ladbrokes, and bwin, will be required to pay 14 million in damages for its online companies and an additional 3 million for its land-based venue, Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited. The well-known, bricks-and-mortar business Ladbrokes, run 2,746 establishments all over the UK. The entire sum will be used for socially responsible initiatives as part of a regulatory settlement.

Additional licence restrictions will be implemented to ensure Entain develops a new improvement strategy going forward. Within a year, the company will be subject to an audit to make sure the conditions are followed. Entain’s licence could be revoked if they fail to meet the new regulations, especially seeing as this is not the first time the company have faced a fine. The Gambling Commission issued a penalty package of £5.9m in only 2019 for similar reasons. 

The company argues that because of the new measures for responsible gambling, such the ARC affordability programme, their errors were made before the new regulations went into effect. 

The company acknowledged that its policies and practices had holes and flaws. Customers that should have been flagged up under the responsible gambling policies were overlooked and were able to deposit large amounts of money without being questioned about Source of Funds. 

They were not approached about large deposits over a short period of time, and were able to deposit large amounts into multiple online brand accounts when they should have been subject to enquiries. The business's failure to fulfil its legal obligations had an impact on how well it managed and cared for its consumers. Licensed gambling operators have a legal duty to ensure gambling facilities are provided in compliance with the Gambling Act which were overlooked by LC International. The Gambling Commission also found failings that LCI’s risk assessment did not, refer to terrorist financing or, make specific reference to customer nationality or business risks in the geographical risk.

The business must adhere to policies and procedures and ensure that they are successfully followed in order to prevent money laundering. An example of the company breaching this licence is, customer A had £742,000 in deposits during a membership period of 14 months, having first registered in May 2019. The Licensee established via open source that this customer was a director of a newly formed company. The customer’s salary was not known by the Licensee as no personal financial information was available on open source. At the time of the Assessment, the customer had lost £59,000 in the preceding six months.

Following significant failures, the company is subject to the highest fine imposed by the Gambling Commission to date.

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