Paddy Power Betfair given £2.2m fine over social responsibility failings

Following an investigation by the Gambling Commission, Paddy Power Betfair has been issued with a £2.2m penalty package after the operator was found to be accountable for various social responsibility shortcomings. 

The investigation revealed that Paddy Power Betfair had failed to step in with regards to a player showing signs of problem gambling,while the operator also allowed a large amount of stolen charity money to be played with on its site. 

In a statement, the Gambling Commission’s executive director, Richard Watson emphasised: “As a result of Paddy Power Betfair’s failings significant amounts of stolen money flowed through their exchange and this is simply not acceptable. Operators have a duty to all of their customers to seek to prevent the proceeds of crime from being used in gambling.

“These failings all stem from one simple principle – operators must know their customer. If they know their customer and ask the right questions then they place themselves in a strong position to meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.”

Paddy Power Betfair chief executive, Peter Jackson commented: “We have a responsibility to intervene when our customers show signs of problem gambling. In these five cases our interventions were not effective and we are very sorry that this occurred.

“In recent years, we have invested in an extensive programme of work to strengthen our resources and systems in responsible gambling and customer protection. We are encouraged that the Gambling Commission has recognised significant improvement since the time of these cases in 2016.”

As part of Paddy Power Betfair’s penalty package, the FTSE100-listed operator will issue a £1.7m payment to industry charity GambleAware, as well as returning £500,000 to those that have been effected by the operator’s negligence.