UKGC Brings Down the Hammer on 888 Online Gambling

Published Thursday, August 31, 2017 -
UKGC Brings Down the Hammer on 888 Online Gambling

The U.K. Gambling Commission has brought he hammer down on online gambling operator 888 with an unprecedented financial penalty for a failure to protect vulnerable gamblers from harm. The record penalty of £7.8m was ordered by the Commission that said there were "significant flaws" in 888’s endeavours to connect with the public.

The company is alleged to have failed to stop 7,000 online gambling participants from betting even though the consumers chose to be excluded from the gambling web location. One participant claims to have wagered more than £1.3m during a 13 month period before he was identified as an excluded individual.

888 said co-operation has resulted in the voluntary settlement, adding the company was "committed to providing players with a responsible as well as enjoyable gaming experience."

Chief executive officer with the U.K. Gambling Commission, Sarah Harrison, commented that the penalty would ensure that "lessons are learnt."

Speaking to the BBC Harrison said, “Our requirements are that every company must provide the facility for every customer to be able to bar themselves from gambling. These 7,000 looked to do that. But 888 didn't deliver it as effectively as they should have done.”

One customer staked more than £1.3m, including £55,000 stolen from their employer and as result of the probe a portion of the penalty £62,000 will be returned to the affected employer.  

The Gambling Commission has stated, "the lack of interaction with the customer, given the frequency, duration and sums of money involved in the gambling, raised serious concerns about 888's safeguarding of customers at-risk of gambling harm. " £4.25m will be given to a socially responsible entity  to invest in measures to address problem gambling issues.

Harrison continued, "There are around two million people now in Britain who either are problem gamblers or are at risk of problem gambling," adding, "Companies are beginning to put different practices in place to identify people right up front, but more needs to be done. We need to go further and we need to go faster."








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