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Entain Receives Historic £17mn Fine

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Aug/17/2022

Ladbrokes and Coral Sports parent company, Entain, was handed down a £17mn fine for failure to adhere to social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) safeguards.  Entain previously went by the name GVC Holdings.  The company has admitted wrongdoing though it appears to be shifting blame towards previous owners....and continues to do so three years later

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A company statement read in part: "GVC acknowledges and regrets that certain legacy systems and processes in place in the Ladbrokes and Coral operations during the period 2014-2017 did not adequately meet the regulatory requirements in respect to social responsibility and anti-money laundering (“AML”) safeguards."

Entain CEO, Kenneth Alexander released a statement following the punitive measures: “Soon after the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral following meetings and ongoing enquiries by the Gambling Commission, it became clear to GVC that there had been historic compliance failures within certain areas of the operations. Working closely with the Gambling Commission and an independent firm of solicitors, GVC facilitated a thorough, prompt and far-reaching investigation, which has led to today’s settlement. These historical failings were unacceptable and since the acquisition, I have overseen a systematic review of the enlarged Group’s player protection procedures and the individuals responsible for these problems have exited the business. I am confident that, we now have in place a robust and industry leading approach to player protection.

“More broadly, GVC is determined to take the lead in the critical area of responsible gambling, and is taking decisive, tangible action across a range of initiatives. This includes our recent voluntary commitment to increase funding for research, education and treatment projects ten-fold, as well as our decision to end all sponsorship deals that promote our brands on UK football shirts or on pitch-side advertising hoardings. However, there is more to be done and social responsibility and we will continue to work with other gambling companies and the Gambling Commission to raise operating standards.”

Entained, then going by the name GVC, was fined £5.9mn by the Gambling Commission back in 2019, but said it had already “transformed its AML and safer gambling processes” through its “industry-leading Changing for the Bettor responsible gambling strategy”.

Fast forward three years and the company is still being held responsible for non-compliance.

Helen Thomas of the Financial Times quipped: "Spot the difference?".  This was in reference to Entain's behaviour in 2019 versus its behaviour over the past three years.  Not much has changed.

She writes:

With the UK government supposedly finalising its long-awaited paper on gambling reform, Entain’s latest fine raises questions about the ability of the industry to change and the efficacy of the current regulatory system. How much of an incentive really is there for companies to self-police and do proper checks on what the commission’s chair Marcus Boyle recently described as “jaw-dropping examples of substantial amounts being taken from individuals who can’t afford to wager such sums”?

Entain has a joint venture with BetMGM in the United States.  Regulators in the U.S. have yet to comment on this historic fine.

BetMGM offers sports betting and online gaming via market leading brands including BetMGM, Borgata Casino, Party Casino and Party Poker.

Maybe they will change (Ba dum tss).  See below.

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- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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