Paddy Power Betfair has been fined £2.2m after an investigation by the Gambling Commission found that the UK operator was guilty of various social responsibility shortcomings.
The UKGC investigation brought to light that the firm had failed to intervene when a bettor played with large sums of stolen charity money on its site, as well as falling short when it comes to protecting customers that are showing signs of problem gambling.
In a statement, the Gambling Commission’s Executive Director, Richard Watson emphasised: “As a result of Paddy Power Betfair’s failings significant amounts of stolen money flowed through their exchange and this is simply not acceptable. Operators have a duty to all of their customers to seek to prevent the proceeds of crime from being used in gambling.
“These failings all stem from one simple principle – operators must know their customer. If they know their customer and ask the right questions then they place themselves in a strong position to meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.”
Paddy Power Betfair Chief Executive Peter Jackson commented: “We have a responsibility to intervene when our customers show signs of problem gambling. In these five cases our interventions were not effective and we are very sorry that this occurred.
“In recent years, we have invested in an extensive programme of work to strengthen our resources and systems in responsible gambling and customer protection. We are encouraged that the Gambling Commission has recognised significant improvement since the time of these cases in 2016.”
As part of Paddy Power Betfair’s penalty package, the FTSE100 listed operator will issue a £1.7m payment to industry charity GambleAware, as well as returning £500,000 to those that have been affected by the operator’s negligence.