LeoVegas Penalized For Taking Wagers From Problem Gamblers
The latest gambling firm that has gotten into trouble with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is LeoVegas.
The gambling operator was hit with a fine by the UKGC for accepting bets from players who have decided to exclude themselves from gambling.
The company had to pay a penalty of £600,000 after the UKGC reviewed the company’s license to operate in the UK.
The main problem for LeoVegas was that its self-exclusion systems, which were meant to allow gamblers to stop themselves from placing bets with the company, were not working at their best and still allowed them to place wagers.
The UKGC blamed these problems on a software error. The UKGC discovered that around 1,894 LeoVegas players that signed up for its self-exclusion scheme still received marketing materials. Additionally, more than 400 of these players were allowed to bet £200,000 over a two month period, which is yet another sign that these gamblers are having problems controlling themselves from placing wagers.
LeoVegas did not follow protocol and contact them nor give them a 24-hour cooling off period to stop further wagers. This is not the first time that the UKGC has fined a gambling company over insufficient protection for those who apply to be on the self-inclusion lists that gambling websites offer. In the past six months, several companies have been fined for not doing their job properly.
UKGC Finds Multiple Breaches With LeoVegas
The UKGC further discovered that LeoVegas did not return the funds deposited by 11,205 customers who chose to sign up for the self-exclusion scheme and close their accounts. As part of the penalty, LeoVegas will be returning more than £14,000 to these players. The fine also covered the 41 misleading adverts that LeoVegas released between April 2017 and January 2018. These advertisements failed to mention the restrictions applicable on some of their promotions.
In a statement, Neil McArthur, the Gambling Commission’s chief executive, said
The outcome of this case should leave no one in any doubt that we will be tough with licences holders who mislead consumers or fail to meet the standards we set in our licence conditions and codes of practice. We want operators to learn the lessons from our investigations and use those lessons to raise standards.
There is an ongoing plan for an industry-wide self-exclusion system called Gamstop. The original plan was developed by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), which is UK’s online betting trade body. They release date for this was plan was towards the end of 2017 but it has been pushed back and there is no confirmation as of now of a potential date.