Entain Fined £17m by UK Gambling Commission for Extensive Social Responsibility/AML Failings.

The GB Gambling Commission, after identifying series of social responsibility (SR) and Anti-money Laundering failings (AML) across Entain’s online and land-based businesses, has levied the company with a record breaking fine of £17m (€20.3m/$20.6m/N8.5b).

The failings identified, was against LC International Limited (LCI), which runs Entain’s online brands including Ladbrokes.com, Coral.co.uk and Foxybingo.com, of which the operator will make a penalised payment of £14m.

The remaining £3m will be paid by Entain, for the failings identified from Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited (LBG)’s land-based business, which operates 2,746 betting shops across Great Britain.

As part of a regulatory settlement, all £17m to be paid by Entain, will be directed towards socially responsible purposes, while the Commission will further impose, a series of other licence conditions against the Company.

Entain had in 2019, paid a fine of £5.9m for similar SR/AML failings and thus the chief executive of the Gambling Commission; Andrew Rhodes has warned the operator that it risks revocation of its operating license, in the event of further failings, identified against it.

Identified failings

According to the Gambling Commission; between December 2019 and October 2020, there were identified failings at Entain’s online-focused LCI, in relation to its AML policies, procedures and controls, as well responsible gambling policies.

Some customers who were the subject of AML restrictions or whose accounts were closed on one Entain brand, were able to open multiple accounts on their other brands.

Entain’s risk assessments, did not refer to terrorist financing, nor did it make specific reference to customer nationality or business risks in the geographical risk section, a failing clearly acknowledged by the brand.

The Company also accepted that there were weaknesses and shortcomings in its policies and procedures, as certain customers were able to deposit large amounts without an interaction, such as a source of funds (SoF) check, being triggered.

Identified Harm Occasioned by Failings

An Entain customer, who was a director of a newly formed company, deposited £742,000 in a space of 14 months, without the operator ascertaining source of income or amount in salary earnings. At the time of the assessment, the customer had lost £59,000 in the preceding six months.

Another customer deposited the sum of £186,000, on a six-month account, losing a total of £31,000, including £25,000 in the three months prior to the assessment.

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