Ladbrokes Coral Group have received a £5.9m penalty package for “systemic failings” over their social responsibility and anti-money laundering safeguards, by the Gambling Commission.
The Commission said consumers have been harmed and stolen money “flowed though the business” due to “unacceptable” shortcomings.
A customer lost £98,000 and had asked the company to stop sending promotions.
The problems had occurred between November 2014 and 2017 after GVC Holding bought Ladbrokes in 2018.
Richard Watson, executive director of the Gambling Commission, said: “These were systemic failings at a large operator which resulted in consumers being harmed and stolen money flowing though the business and this is unacceptable.”
GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander added, “These historical failings were unacceptable and since the acquisition, I have overseen a systematic review of the enlarged group’s player protection procedures and the individuals responsible for these problems have exited the business.
“I am confident that we now have in place a robust and industry-leading approach to player protection.”
Kyle Phillips, an anti-money laundering and corporate crime specialist at law firm Fieldfisher said,
“Historically, the gambling industry has been a target for criminal activity. Companies in the gambling industry are subject to the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and casinos are specifically regulated by the UK Money Laundering Regulations.
“They have a clear responsibility to ensure that money laundering is kept out of gambling. Updated AML regulations came into force in 2017 and it appears that enforcement is becoming tougher, so gambling businesses need to ensure they have appropriate safeguards in place, or expect to receive potentially significant fines.”