Online casino operator, 32Red, has been hit with a major fine based on issues with protecting a problem gambler. The UK Gambling Commission has issued a $2.6m fine against the operator, based on the company’s failure to fulfill their social responsibility, allowing a VIP customer with a known gambling problem to deposit $997,645 over an almost three-year time frame.
32Red will pay a total of $2.6m, with $933,214 being a divestment of the financial gain and $1.7m being payment to the National Responsible Gambling Strategy, a group that focuses on problem gambling issues. An additional $19,742 will be paid towards the investigation costs.
According to CalvinAyre, Richard Watson, the UKGC Executive Director, commented on the fine by stating: “Instead of checking on the welfare of a customer displaying problem gambling behavior, 32Red encouraged the customer to gamble more—this is the exact opposite of what they are supposed to be doing.”
The UKGC was able to find 22 instances where activity involving problem gambling was connected to the operator, taking place from November 2014 to April 2017, during an investigation. The individual involved was considered a top gambler of the site and had VIP status. Despite the problem gambling behavior, 32Red allowed the player to continue to place bets by offering bonuses due to their status.
The investigation also resulted in the UKGC finding weakness within the anti-money laundering measures of the company, after finding out that the operator did not review the customer’s source of income in August of 2016. At this time, the deposits by the player had reached over $300,000.
The casino has accepted responsibility and has told the Commission that they have since made several improvements to their programs offered for problem gamblers.