Gambling Commission hits Betfred with big fine

Betfred Shop

A Betfred customer spent money he had stolen from his employer

 By Mark Scully 10:52AM 14 JUN 2016 

BETFRED will pay more than £800,000 in compensation after the Gambling Commission found the bookmaker in breach of its anti-money laundering and social responsibilities.

The ruling comes after the Gambling Commission launched an investigation into a 2015 court case that revealed a Betfred customer, who was subsequently jailed for three years and four months, had been betting with money he had stolen from his employer.

Among the terms of Betfred’s licence is an obligation to ‘prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime’.

Betfred will now pay £443,000 to the victims of the criminal activities, with a further £344,500 paid to socially responsible causes, as agreed with the Gambling Commission.

In addition, Betfred will also conduct an independent thrid party review and audit of its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies and meet the costs of the investigation.

‘Penalty reflects Betfred’s failures’

Richard Watson, programme director at the Gambling Commission, said: “We identified a number of weaknesses in the anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls used by Betfred. The penalty package of over £800,000 reflects these failures. 

“The commission has now concluded a wide range of cases over the last 10 months leading to around £3.75million in penalty packages. The outcomes and findings in these cases provide a clear signal to operators of the need to learn the lessons from these for social responsibility and money laundering controls, or risk facing tougher sanctions.”

Reacting to the ruling, a Betfred spokesman said: “Betfred notes the findings of the Gambling Commission relating to a historical case of an online customer.

“We have greatly strengthened our policies and will continue to review and update our anti-money laundering and social responsibility procedures.

“The Betfred Group remains fully committed to working with the Gambling Commission and the rest of the industry to strengthen existing controls. Responsible gambling is at the very heart of our business.”

 
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