Entain Group will pay a punishment of £17 million (€20 million) to the UK Gambling Commission for failing to uphold its social responsibility obligations and engaging in money laundering.
The largest fine ever levied by the UK gaming authority has been levied against Entain Group, owner of the bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral.
According to the Financial Times, the gaming giant will pay £14M (€16.6M) for failing to uphold "licensing standards" at LC International Limited, which manages 13 websites, in its online operation.
A £3 million (€3.5 million) charge has been levied against Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited, which runs more than 2,700 betting shops around the UK.
The head of the Gaming Commission, Andrew Rhodes, denounced the regulator's "completely unacceptable" breaches in anti-money laundering and safer gambling, saying the watchdog had seen "serious failures" at the company.
"Operators are reminded they must never place commercial considerations over compliance," he said.
Ladbrokes and Coral have now received a punishment twice; the first was imposed in 2020 and was for £5.9 million (€6.99 million), before the business was acquired by GVC Holdings and changed its name to Entain.
The revocation of the operators' licenses was a "very real possibility," Mr. Rhodes cautioned, and he warned that the Gambling Commission would be monitoring the operators "very carefully." If the corporation does not step up its compliance, he said.
The fine imposed by the Gambling Commission relates to Entain's failures to take action when clients are at risk of gambling-related damage and to prevent such customers from opening an account with another licensee while their accounts are still subject to account restrictions.
Entain is now subject to a new license requirement that additionally stipulates that an improvement plan be monitored by a member of the business board and that a third-party audit of compliance with the Business Code of Conduct take place within a year of the contract.
By fLEXI tEAM