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Record fine for British gambling giant
Pic: Shutterstock

17 Aug 2022 / regulation Print

Record fine for British gambling giant

Britain’s gambling watchdog has fined the company that owns the Ladbrokes and Coral brands a record Stg £17 million.

The failures identified by the Gambling Commission at Entain were linked to the firm’s social-responsibility and anti-money-laundering obligations.

Of the total, £14 million of the fine was related to Entain websites, and £3 million to the division that operates Ladbrokes betting shops across Britain.

The regulator said that additional licence conditions would be added to ensure that a board member oversaw an improvement plan, and that a third-party audit to review compliance with the firm’s licence conditions took place within 12 months.

Multiple accounts

Andrew Rhodes (Gambling Commission chief executive) described the failures revealed by its investigation as “completely unacceptable”.

In one case identified by the watchdog, the operator conducted only one chat interaction with an online customer who spent extended periods gambling overnight during an 18-month period, in which they deposited £230,845.

The commission also found that customers who were subject to enquiries and restrictions with one Entain brand were able to open multiple accounts with others.

One online customer who was blocked with Coral because they had spent £60,000 in 12 months, and failed to provide source-of-funds (SOF) information, was immediately able to open an account with Ladbrokes and deposit £30,000 in a single day.

Another shop customer was not escalated for a safer-gambling review despite staking £29,372 and losing £11,345 in a single month.


The regulator also found that Entain allowed some online customers to deposit large amounts without carrying out sufficient SOF checks.

In a statement, Entain said that it had introduced many changes on safer gambling and anti-money-laundering since the period covered by the Gambling Commission investigation.

“Entain accepts that certain legacy systems and processes supporting the operations of its British business during 2019 and 2020 were not in line with the evolving regulatory expectations of the commission in respect to aspects of social responsibility and anti-money laundering,” it stated.

It also pointed to the watchdog’s statement that it had found no evidence of criminal spending within Entain's operations.

Gazette Desk
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