Ladbrokes Coral fined £5.9m by the UKGC
The Ladbrokes Coral group found themselves in hot water on Tuesday. After a series of key rules imposed by the UK Gambling Commission were violated, a fine of £5.9m has been issued to the holding company of both bookmakers, GVC Holdings.
Protecting gambling addicts from the issues of problem gambling is one of the key considerations of the UK Gambling Commission, and when a bookmaker chooses to take a lacklustre approach to implement these policies, action has to be taken. In the case of Ladbrokes Coral, a customer who had previously withdrawn himself from the platform was able to continue betting and lost a further £98,000 in the online casino. The issue centres on the failure to carry out certain social responsibility actions between 2014 and 2018.
The commission brought attention to certain customer behaviour that went unchecked by the company. One customer spent £1.5m in a three-year period, logged onto their account an average of 10 times a day, and in one month lost £64,000. These statistics are concerning, to say the least, and downright shocking when you realise that these are the customers that marketing algorithms will attack with email and SMS advertising campaigns to keep them hooked. Other cases highlight customers who had hundreds of declined deposit attempts (indicating a lack of funds) and yet were still able to lose £100,000.
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.–Kenneth Alexander, GVC chief executive
The situation in UK gambling right now is very much reflected by this recent litigation against the Ladbrokes Coral entity. The truth is that many bookmakers abuse their position in the industry, and simply pay lip service to the gambling awareness campaigns that they are dragged into. Contributing a measly £8 million to help with the destruction that this £100+ billion industry is worth is simply disgraceful. Whilst owners of these companies get richer and pay themselves extortionate amounts of money, the algorithms that power their platforms are praying on vulnerable customers in an effort to extract as much profit as possible.