Caesars Entertainment hit with Record £13m Fine
by Glenn Baird - April 2, 2020
The UKGC has announced today that it will fine Caesars Entertainment a record £13m and will need to apply a series of amendments, after a failing to meet the standard required of operators in terms of their social responsibility, money laundering laws and their interactions with customers.
The result of the investigation has led to three senior managers handing in their own personal licences.
The UKGC cite Caesars’ social responsibility failings as:
“Inadequate interaction with a customer who was known to have previously self-excluded and lost £240,000 over a 13-month period.
“Inadequate interaction with a customer who lost £323,000 in a 12-month period and had displayed signs of problem gambling which included 30 sessions exceeding five hours.
“A customer allowed to lose £18,000 in a year despite identifying herself as a self-employed nanny and informing staff that her savings had been spent, and that she was borrowing money from family and using an overdraft facility to fund gambling activities.
“Inadequate interaction with, and source of funds checks on, a customer who identified as a retired postman and lost £15,000 in 44 days.”
They go on to highlight the following Money Laundering Failings:
“The operator not carrying out adequate source of funds checks on a customer who was allowed to drop around £3.5 million and lose £1.6 million over a period of three months.
“The operator not obtaining adequate evidence of source of funds for a politically exposed person (PEP) who lost £795,000 during a 13-month period.
“The operator not carrying out enhanced customer due diligence (ECDD) checks on a consumer who lost £240,000 over a 13-month period.
“The operator not carrying out adequate source of funds checks on a customer who identified as a waitress and was allowed to buy-in £87,000 and lose £15,000 during a 12-month period.”
Statement from Neil McArthur
“We have published this case at this time because it’s vitally important that the lessons are factored into the work the industry is currently doing to address poor practices of VIP management in which we must see rapid progress made.
“The failings in this case are extremely serious. A culture of putting customer safety at the heart of business decisions should be set from the very top of every company and Caesars failed to do this. We will now continue to investigate the individual licence holders involved with the decisions taken in this case.
“In recent times the online sector has received the greatest scrutiny around VIP practices but VIP practices are found right across the industry and our tough approach to compliance and enforcement will continue, whether a business is on the high street or online.
“We are absolutely clear about our expectations of operators – whatever type of gambling they offer they must know their customers. They must interact with them and check what they can afford to gamble with – stepping in when they see signs of harm. Consumer safety is non-negotiable.”
The UKGC have made it clear that all the money will go towards the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.