The online gaming company 32Red has been issued with a fine of £2 million, after a recent incident where an individual with a gambling problem was granted VIP status. The claims are that the company failed to protect this customer. The company allowed the customer to deposit £758,000 in a three year period. This was without any money laundering checks, and without following the company’s social responsibility procedure – which is laid out on their website.
According to 32red’s responsible gaming statement: “Sometimes we find customers who have problems controlling their gambling, and we try to help them as much as we can. We are able to do this because we have worked with and are certified by GamCare, a charitable organisation that provides help and counselling to those with gambling problems. 32Red is also committed to managing other aspects of responsible gaming by monitoring.”
The customer in question was not only allowed to deposit an average of £45,000 a month, despite having a monthly salary or just £2150, the regulator claims the company failed to perform the correct affordability checks. They also offered them no help or advice. Following this, the Gambling Commission has now identified 22 more cases where customers behaviour should have been flagged by the casino staff: adding to the growing concerns over the lack of regulation in the gambling industry.
Richard Watson, executive director of the Gambling Commission, said: “Instead of checking on the welfare of a customer displaying problem gambling behaviour, 32Red encouraged the customer to gamble more – this is the exact opposite of what they are supposed to be doing.”
He added: “Operators must take action when they spot signs of problem gambling and should be carefully reviewing all the customers they are having a high level of contact with. Protecting consumers from gambling-related harm is a priority for us and where we see operators failing in their responsibility to keep their customers safe we will take tough action.”
A spokesperson for 32Red said: “Kindred (the owner of 32Red) is working hard across all teams and brands to consolidate and improve business processes, making use of best practices from all areas of the business. As a company putting sustainability at the very core of its business strategy, Kindred remains committed to ensuring customers can enjoy gambling in a safe and secure environment.”