A big British betting operator recently paid over £100,000 to a vulnerable player. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) ordered the unnamed company to pay the sum to a 32-year-old male bettor.
The order came after an out-of-court settlement for violating the social responsibility code of the UKGC. The company let a vulnerable player play slot machines, blackjack and online roulette on their website, despite showing signs of excessive or binge playing. He lost over £134,000 while playing during a period of 8 years.
Both the player and the company have decided to remain anonymous under the terms of the settlement. The player’s lawyers suggested that he had continued gambling on the website even after showing “obvious signs” of problem gambling. He is from South of England and borrowed huge sums from friends and family to fund his gambling habits.
Ringwood law firm, Ellis Jones Solicitors represented the player and helped him recover 89% of his net losses. According to solicitor Henrietta Dunkley, who worked on the case alongside Paul Kanolik, the outcome of the case was outstanding. She added that the player had been spending an unaffordable amount on gambling. The betting operator indulged in neglectful behavior by constantly ignoring warning signs of problem gambling.
The UKGC directs all bookmakers to identify problem gamblers and assist customers who may be experiencing harm related to gambling. A spokesperson for the law firm added that the company made no genuine acts of intervention to protect the customer. It should have taken actions and reported the case to BeGambleAware.org.
The landmark case is a warning for betting companies to follow UKGC guidelines and ethical codes of conduct. Gambling companies in the UK are working on creating safer and more protected spaces for gamblers to enjoy. Over the years, the firms have become more proactive in identifying problem gambling while the UKGC has tightened its grip around betting operators.
The Kindred Group, which owns Unibet and 32Red brands, announced in September that it would continue to promote responsible gambling via its football clubs. It will promote a responsible gambling message on all matches with 32Red teams during the upcoming season. GVC Holdings, the most prominent British operator, also launched the US Foundation to promote sports integrity, corporate compliance and responsible gambling.