Paddy Power Fined with $2.91m for Not Protecting Customers

paddy power betfair fineThe UK Gambling Commission has levied a fine of $2.91 million to Paddy Power Betfair, the reputed Irish bookmaker.

According to the industry regulator, the gambling operator was unable to safeguard the interests of its customers in 2016 and could not stop the stolen money from gambling.

This hefty fine comes after a recent crackdown that exposed the failures of different firms like Ladbrokes and William Hill, leading to record penalties for failing to protect the vulnerable players.

Failure to Intervene

According to UKGC, Paddy Power was unable to intervene when players showed clear signs of problem gambling and the operator was unable to carry out the anti-money laundering security protocols. An investigation by the gambling body revealed that two players were allowed to gamble with significant sums of stolen money at the betting exchange of Betfair.

Failures were also identified that involves three online customers and the shops of Paddy Power including the inability to track the source of wealth of players and weakness in carrying out social security checks. All these failures on the part of the Paddy Power Betfair led t a fine of $2.91 million.

Richard Watson, the Executive Director of UK Gambling Commission, says:

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.

Gambling Operators Have a Duty

Peter Jackson, the Chief Executive of Paddy Power Betfair, says that the company has a social responsibility to intervene when the customers show any sign of problem gambling. In these five cases, he said that the company was unable to intervene appropriately and is extremely sorry for such a thing. The Chief Executive went on saying that they have an extensive work program that strengthens systems and resources for customer protection and responsible gambling.

This latest penalty on Betfair is a part of a wider clampdown by the UK gambling commission on inability and weakness in the iGaming industry. Earlier in February this year, William Hill was fined with $8.2 million for its failure to protect the players and inability to prevent money laundering.

Out of the fine money levied by UKGC, $2.25 million will be donated to Gamble Aware which is a charity organisation working to curtail problem gambling in the country. The money stolen from Birmingham Dogs and spent with the casino operator will be returned back to the charity. Also, approximately $66,000 will be earmarked by the gambling commission for carrying out the investigative work.

A Bad Month for Paddy Power

September seems to be an unpleasant month for Betfair with share prices dropping b 30% from just six months ago after when the Prime Minister of Ireland increased the tax rate. As a result of which, around $330 billion was wiped away from the share value.

The casino operator announced that it has curtailed the annual earnings by approximately $16.5 million in spite of the extra fund generated from the FIFA World Cup 2018. Investors are disappointed with the yearly figure of Betfair, and all its growth is falling short of predictions.

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