Petfre (Gibraltar) Ltd Fined £2.87m by UK Gambling Commission

Petfre (Gibraltar) Ltd who run Betfred and Oddsking have become the latest gamblng company to be fined by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). They have been ordered to make a payment of £2.87 million after the discovery of what the UKGC have called “alarming failures.”

While the UK government still delays the publication of their White Paper into gambling reform, the UKGC have been busy issuing fines and setting new rules. Their main concern is the protection of gamblers, particularly those who are at risk of gambling harm.

As with other fines for 888 and Entain, it is the area of social responsibility and money laundering failures that have upset the UKGC. No criminal activity has been uncovered by them however.

One Betfred customer was allowed to lose a large amount of money in a short period of time. £70,000 was lost and it took just 10 hours in which to do that. Their account had only been opened the previous day. The UKGC say that there were no controls in place to deal with such rapid spending by a new account holder.

Leanne Oxley is the director of enforcement and intelligence at the UKGC. She said that: “We expect this gambling business and all other licensees to review this case and look closely to see if they need to make further improvements to demonstrate active compliance”

Another criticism by the UKGC was the triggers that need to be reached for action to be taken. They believe that Betfred set triggers that were “too high.” This meant that the reviewing of accounts where the owner may need to be gambling safer did not take place in a “timely manner.”

As an example, one customer was contacted after depositing £20,700 and losing £10,200. However, the gambling continued and Betfred didn’t make further contact until four months later. By that time, the customer had lost £69,371 of the further £323,715 deposited..

The UKGC also found flaws in how Betfred aims to stop money laundering. Leanne Oxley added: “This is a further example of us taking action to investigate and sanction alarming failures. We expect this gambling business and all other licensees to review this case and look closely to see if they need to make further improvements to demonstrate active compliance. Where standards do not improve, tougher enforcement will follow.”

A Betfred spokesman said that they are working with the UKGC and “continually review all our anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies.” They added that the company remains “committed to providing a safer gambling environment for our customers.”

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