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Entain Faces Loss of License Over Gambling Addiction

Entain Faces Loss of License Over Gambling Addiction

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Gambling giant Entain is facing loss of its license to operate in the UK after being ordered to pay a record £17 million settlement over its inaction to prevent gambling addiction, The Guardian wrote. At today’s exchange rate, this is equivalent to more than $20 million or just under 20 million euros.

Poor gambling addiction control

Entain failed to improve controls to prevent money laundering and fight gambling addiction according to the UK Gambling Commission. The watchdog drew attention to a series of failures on the company’s part in this regard, both in its online business and its physical venues.

Individuals gambled millions away

According to the regulator, a number of totally unacceptable incidents occurred, resulting in the gambling giant’s second regulatory settlement. A customer deposited £230,845 over a year and a half and would spend hours gambling at night. The operator interacted with them just once, by chat.

Another person was able to deposit £742,000 in just over a year, and the operator did not conduct any checks on what they could afford. A third individual was allowed to deposit £186,000 in half a year without adequate checks. This person lived in social housing.

Industry fought strict affordability checks

The incidents occurred even as the gambling industry fought against strict affordability checks and similar proposals, claiming there was enough social responsibility.

Gambling white paper delayed

Plans were announced to publish a gambling white paper in June. To campaigners’ dismay, it was postponed. It was to contain a series of reforms aimed at making gambling laws stricter. The delay could be related to the Tory party’s process to choose a new leader.

Entain forced to implement improvement plan

The settlement between the regulator and Entain includes conditions forcing the industry giant to implement an “improvement plan” for more effective control aimed at fighting gambling addiction and preventing money laundering. UK Gambling Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes bemoaned the operator’s inaction, stating:

There were completely unacceptable anti-money laundering and safer gambling failures. Operators are reminded they must never place commercial considerations over compliance. They should be aware that we will be monitoring them very carefully and further serious breaches will make the removal of their license to operate a very real possibility. We expect better and consumers deserve better.