Viktor Vangelov | Published 29 Oct 2019, 1:49 p.m.
The UK Gambling Commission has been particularly active in combating problem gambling lately. You have surely noticed that many of our news articles have covered this issue or related ones. At the beginning of last month, representatives of gambling operators attended a hearing at Westminster, an event organised by an All Party Parliamentary Group that deals with gambling harm and related issues.
Many UK operators have been fined by the UK Gambling Commission in the past 12 months. Ladbrokes Coral were fined this summer with a pretty hefty fine of £5.9 million and the fines of all operators combined amounted to £19.6 million.
Ladbrokes is in the limelight again, but this time the operator managed to escape a fine. Reportedly, the company asked a victim of theft to keep quite about the event, i.e. not to report it to the regulator and in return, the operator agreed to compensate them. The reason why the operator was responsible and supposed to compensate is that the reported £1m theft was made by a customer with a gambling problem who used the funds to gamble at Ladbrokes.
Tony Parente stole almost a million to gamble
The UK Gambling Commission began investigating the said matter last year, after the case was made public. The person with a gambling problem in question, Tony Parente, admitted stealing the money and the company asked him and his victims to sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to get compensated. The Commission has previously issued guidelines for operators regarding the use of non-disclosure agreements, in this case it has already notified Parente that the operator will not be sanctioned for the case.
The Commission informed Parente that there the document he signed is satisfactory and doesn’t breach any of the regulatory requirements.
Labour MP not happy with the decision
It has been reported that the company which is currently owned by GVC, a company headquartered in the Isle Of Man, has sent numerous gifts to Parente, including football tickets, plane tickets over the course of two years, after they became familiar with the fact that the funds that he gambled away were stolen.
Parente was gambling over a period of two years and he was wagering away up to £60,000 daily, and he later admitted that the money was stolen. His victims complained that the company was accepting stolen money and the operator made an agreement to pay a total sum of £975,000 if all of them agreed not to complain formally or report the issue to any regulator boy. The people whose funds were stolen, a total of five of them also agreed not to help any other victims who had similar experience.
Ladbrokes were obviously satisfied with the fact that the company didn’t have to pay a fine, but others weren’t as happy. For example, Carolyn Harris, a Labour MP who chairs a cross-party group that deals with gambling related issues said that this decision shows that gambling legislation isn’t appropriate and should be amended so that the industry is no longer able to hold vulnerable gamblers.
Posted in:Top News Stories
Who will benefit from an online wagering limit?
A limit on online casino gambling will have a serious impact on the industry and could drive players to offshore sites which are unlicensed and unregulated.
Operators criticised for VIP programmes and incentives
It has been reported that many UK gambling operators hire special VIP account managers, and their job includes offering incentives to players who might have or could potentially develop a gambling problem.
Operators’ share price drops after calls for a stake limit
Following the report by all party parliamentary group asking for the introduction of a wagering limit on online games, similar to the FOBTs limit that was introduced earlier this year, the share price of multiple gambling operators has decreased.
Parliamentary report suggests betting limit at online casinos
A report has been submitted to the UK Parliament and it includes a range of suggestions, such as including wagering limits at online casinos, a ban on credit card wagering and more.
Pressure on Pubs regarding pub gaming machines
It has been reported that majority of pubs in England haven’t taken measures to ensure that patrons who wager funds on pub gambling machines are above 18. The UKGC is determined to work with all stakeholders to ensure that only visitors who are old enough are allowed to gamble.
Gaming Company to Withdraw Loot Boxes from a Popular Game
Popular game Rocket League will no longer feature loot boxes of the standard format, i.e. players will know what they’re buying if they decide to purchase anything in-game.