the News desk.
|Betred and Coral fined by the UK
| Betfred fined
Coral fined £880,000
also fined £280,000
become the latest operator to be fined by the UK Gambling Commission since
Sarah Harrison took over as chief executive last year.
agreed to an £800,000 (1m/$1.1m) settlement after accepting stolen
cash from a customer, who was allegedly offered free drinks and day trips to
encourage him to keep betting.
Betfred was found to have failed to meet
its obligations on social responsibility and the prevention of money
laundering, after taking thousands of pounds from Matthew Stevens, a convicted
thief. The accountant pleaded guilty to two counts of theft earlier this year,
after funnelling cash out of the business he worked for in order to fund his
|The Gambling Commission
said Betfred would pay more than £800,000 in compensation and in
contribution towards socially responsible causes after a review of its
licence. Under the terms of the latest settlement, Betfred will pay
£443,000 to the victims of the criminal activities. A further
£344,500 will be paid to socially responsible causes, agreed with the
The case was referred to the Gambling Commission over
claims made in court that staff offered Stevens free bets and days out to go
gambling, despite him racking up huge losses between 2013 and 2015.
UK regulator announced an £880,000 settlement with Coral in April, after
the bookmaker took hundreds of thousands of pounds from a problem gambler who
was using the proceeds of theft to feed his habit. Earlier this year, Paddy
Power was forced to pay out £280,000 after the commission found that it
had encouraged a problem gambler to keep betting until he lost five jobs and
Gala Coral said it has instigated changes across its
anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility (SR) policies after
failures identified by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) cost it almost
The UK gaming operator, which runs
Coral, Grosvenor Casinos and the Gala Bingo website, has acted after it failed
to deal adequately with a customer who fraudulently spent more than
£800,000 with the company between 2012 and January 2015 and is now
serving a three-year prison sentence.
After an investigation, the UKGC
concluded that the identified issues highlighted by this customer indicated
wider systemic faults with Gala Coral Groups approach to AML and SR at
the relevant time.
The UKGC found that Gala Coral failed to
appropriately assess customer risk and obtain adequate information with regard
to customers source of funds or source of wealth. It also did not utilise
open source internet resources effectively or effectively use account
information to identify potential problem gamblers.
The gaming operator
has returned the customers gross gambling yield of £846,000 to the
vulnerable adult that he stole from, and told TotallyGaming.com that it has
made a number of improvements to its procedures over the course of the last
These improvements included new tools to enhance customer
checks, increased headcount in our anti-money laundering team and improved
training for retail and online customer-facing colleagues, a Gala Coral
spokesperson said. We also intend to submit our AML and SR policies to a
review by a third party.
Gala Coral remains fully committed to
working with the Commission and the broader industry to strengthen existing
controls and to ensure that responsible gambling remains at the core of our
The UKGC has warned operators to remember that under
the Gambling Act 2005 their licence depends on taking appropriate steps to
keep crime out of gambling.
Richard Watson, programme
director at the UKGC, added: We expect the industry will learn the
lessons from this case, as it is their responsibility to keep crime out of
gambling and protect vulnerable people from harm.