The British government will have to pay a record amount of money for wide-ranging failures

The British government will have to pay a record amount of money for wide-ranging failures

LC International is the company that runs Entain’s online brands, which include Coral.co.uk and Foxybingo.com.

The land-based business of the bookmaker, which operates 2,746 betting shops across Great Britain, is worth an additional 3.0 million dollars.

The Commission will apply a number of extra licensing restrictions as part of the regulatory settlement, and all £17 million will be used for socially responsible projects. An Entain board member will be in charge of overseeing a new company improvement plan.

Within 12 months, a third-party audit of compliance with the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice will take place.

As a result of the failures, the Gambling Commission warned that the business could lose their licence, as they had already paid a £5.9m penalty for similar failures in 2019. The launch of its player protection tool was one of the new responsible gambling initiatives that Entain noted had come before the previous failures.

There were online failures

The LCI business had problems with its policies, procedures and controls, as well as deficiencies in responsible gambling, and certain customers who were the subject of anti-money Laundering restrictions were able to do so.

The operator’s risk assessments did not refer to terrorist financing, nor did they mention customer nationality or business risks in the geographical risk section, according to the Commission.

The Commission found that certain customers were able to deposit large amounts without an interaction, such as a source of funds check, being triggered, and that there were weaknesses and shortcomings in its policies and procedures.

A customer deposited over seven million dollars in 14 months. The customer was a director of a newly formed company, but they did not know their salary. The customer had lost over half a million dollars in the preceding six months.

A player made almost $200,000 in deposits over the course of a six-month account, but lost over $30,000 in the three months prior to the assessment.

The operator placed an overreliance on recycled winnings with some players and LCI should have conducted Enhanced Customer Due Diligence (ECDD) checks sooner with others according to the Commission.

The regulator highlighted a number of cases, including how a player deposited over one hundred thousand dollars in two months. On August 9, 2020, Entain requested SoF evidence, but the customer was allowed to gamble until the account was restricted on August 27. LCI closed the account on receipt of the SoF evidence due to concerns about the legitimacy of the evidence.

A player deposited more than half a million dollars in the period of the failures. The account was closed because the customer was not asked to provide SoF evidence until April 2020.

excessive reliance on open-source information was found to have been placed by Entain. Prior to the SoF request in August 2020, no evidence had been obtained to show that the assumed wealth was being used to fund the account. In the period, the customer deposited over one hundred thousand dollars with an overall net loss of over sixty thousand dollars.

There was no evidence of criminal spend with the specific customers identified in the compliance assessment by the Commission.

Entain accepted that it was slow to interact with certain customers. Despite being referred to the safer gambling team, a customer made large deposits overnight and in the early morning, and only received one chat interaction.

The account was reopened after an analyst error in November caused it to be permanently closed.

Customers who had their accounts closed with one of the Entain brands were able to open multiple accounts with other brands.

There is a retail division

During December and October of 2020 the operator accepted weaknesses and shortcomings in its policies and implementation, with some customers able to stake large amounts without being monitored or scrutinised to the standard expected by the Commission.

One high-staking cash customer regularly loaded cash of £500 or more onto shop terminals, placing their first bet on January 10, 2020 and losing around £168,000 in the eight months after. They were not considered for checks because they weren’t referred for review by shop staff and didn’t hit the LBG’s threshold.

The licensee acknowledged that it did not conduct due diligence checks on this customer until it conducted a review as part of its governance process in September 2020.

A player wagered over half a million dollars and lost over half a million dollars in 12 months. LBG confirmed that it has changed its approach since admitting that more formal thresholds and checkpoints would have been appropriate in respect of stake levels.

The Commission found no evidence of criminal spending with the licensee during the compliance assessment.

Entain acknowledged that it was slow to interact with certain customers. In one instance, a player in July staked £29,372 and lost £11,345, with both of these figures being significantly higher than in any other month, but they were not referred for a safer gambling review by the shop.

Local staff or area managers could have taken action sooner if they had training. One incident involved a player who spent over two hundred thousand dollars and lost over twenty thousand dollars, while another incident involved a delivery driver who lost over fifteen thousand dollars.

LBG’s evaluation of the adequacy of certain individual customer interactions should have been conducted at a higher standard and recorded more clearly, according to the regulators. There was a player who staked over two hundred thousand dollars and lost over forty thousand dollars between October of 2020 and October of 2019.

In its interactions with certain customers identified by the Commission, the regulator said that affordability ought to have been considered sooner, while there were also instances where interactions were not specifically adapted depending on the extent of potential harm to a player.

Summary:

The Entain Group has agreed to pay over 13 million dollars to the Gambling Commission for failures in its online and land-based businesses. In relation to its policies, procedures and controls, as well as deficiencies in responsible gambling, the failings were identified between December and October 2020. The company that operates 2,746 betting shops will be paid over three million dollars by Entain.