A UK bookmaker has been fined for failing to protect one of its customers.
The bookie, which like the man at the centre of the case, cannot be named, was accused of having failed to protect the customer during a gambling spree.
The customer concerned wagered and lost more than £134,000 over an eight-year period while playing online casino games including roulette and blackjack. His lawyers argued that the bookie had failed its responsibilities by allowing him to continue betting, despite clear signs of problem gambling.
The UK Gambling Commission’s Responsibility Code lays out clear guidance for bookmakers in the case of a customer showing signs of harmful gambling.
The man who brought the case gambled with a number of providers, making regular deposits and ended up going into debt with friends and family. The case was due to go to the High Court, but the betting firm settled, paying out £100,000, which represented around 89% of his losses.
Speaking about the case, the customer’s lawyer, Henrietta Dunkley, said that the problem was clear for the betting firm to see but that they failed to act:
“He had shown very obvious signs of problem gambling for a considerable amount of time and was spending far beyond his means, losing well in excess of £100,000. But instead of referring him to the Responsible Gambling team they ignored the red flags and let him carry on.”
The news of the payout comes at the start of Responsible Gambling Week, which aims to promote safer gambling. It has also come at a time when the UK Gambling Commission has been urging betting firms to do more to protect customers following months of pressure from politicians and other groups, who argue that the industry is not doing enough.