Paddy Power among firms hit with record fines
Betting companies including Paddy Power Betfair paid a record £19.6m (€21.8m) in penalties in the UK in the last year for failing to protect problem gamblers and to stop money launderers.
The UK's Gambling Commission said it carried out more than 160 investigations in the 2018/2019 financial year and imposed a variety of sanctions on operators, including the financial penalties.
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Among the firms to be fined were online casino company Daub Alderney, ordered to pay £7.1m (€7.9m), and Paddy Power Betfair - now known as Flutter Entertainment - which was fined £2.2m (€2.5m). The regulator's second annual enforcement report said a number of firms had failed to detect customers at risk of becoming problem gamblers.
Gambling Commission CEO Neil McArthur said: "I want gambling consumers in Britain to be able to enjoy the fairest and safest gambling in the world and I want gambling operators to work with us to put customer enjoyment and safety at the top of their corporate agenda. As the report shows, we will be tough when we find operators bending the rules or failing to meet our expectations, but we also want to try and minimise the need for such action by providing advice, a programme of support material and compliance activity to help operators get things right in the first place."
The report said a "substantial number" of investigations had been carried out in the online gambling sector last year, with some operators' anti-money laundering policies found to be "not fit for purpose".