The UK Gambling Commission has imposed a financial penalty of £3.15m on Camelot UK, after an investigation found three failures related to its mobile app that negatively impacted customers.
The Commission’s National Lottery Commission is said to have concluded that in each case “the information presented in the App was incorrect, inappropriate, or harmful at the point of delivery to the player”.
In the first of the deficiencies, the licensee, on September 23, 2000, informed the regulator that it had disabled the QR scanner after the identification of a functionality issue within the iOS version only.
This saw some customer scans incorrectly display a non-winning message, with it estimated that a potential of up to 20,000 scans may have been affected between November 2016 to September 2020.
Camelot estimated the detriment to players is between £48,000 – £68,000, however it is added that the group was unable to ratify this figure.
Furthermore, it was also discovered that 22,210 players who purchased a single draw-based ticket through the app were charged for and received two tickets.
All of those players have been identified were either refunded for the duplicated wager, or if identified as winners honoured as such on a duplicate basis.
A third failure, which occurred between February 2018 and January 2021, related to the app sending out marketing messages to users who had either self-excluded through Gamstop or had been identified by Camelot as showing signs of gambling harm.
However, it is noted that “while marketing messages were sent out, none of the 65,400 players were subsequently permitted by the app to purchase a National Lottery product”.
In considering the appropriate sanction in respect of the breaches, a UKGC committee is said to have considered outcomes for the National Lottery, players involved, and good causes, in addition to the operator’s financial gain from non-compliance and governance and controls.
All £3.15m to be paid by Camelot, which earlier this month saw Allwyn Entertainment named as the UKGC’s ‘preferred applicant’ to operate the fourth National Lottery licence beginning 2024, will be paid to good causes.
Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, commented: “We are reassured that Camelot has taken steps to make sure that their National Lottery app is fit for purpose.
“However we must caution Camelot that any failings on their duties will be met with consequences. Today’s announcement reinforces that any operator failing to comply with their licence requirements will be investigated by the Commission and we will not hesitate to issue fines if requirements are breached.”