Playtech to Honour £3.5m Fine
by Glenn Baird - May 28, 2020
The findings of a report carried out by the UK Gambling Commission over PTES’s failures to meet social responsibility legislation revealed that the company did not need to pay the £3.5m fine that the regulator had issued them with because they had surrendered their licence.
The move by PTES to avoid paying the fine was picked up by UK news outlet, The Daily Mail, the result of which is that Playtech, PTES’s mother company, will now pay the fine in full.
Interim chair Claire Milne announced that Playtech would pay the £3.5m along with the following statement:
“The findings of this investigation do not reflect where Playtech stands today. But while the company has made many positive and important changes, we feel it is only right for us to recognise these historic failings by offering this increased amount.
“In speaking with many of our stakeholders, it was clear they felt the failings were not representative of the Playtech they know. Through this action, we want to send a message to them and the wider industry of who we are today and aspire to be.
“Raising industry standards on safer gambling and being a leader in responsible business is central to our strategy as a technology partner. In my new role as Interim Chairman, I am fully committed to this continuing to be a key focus of ours going forward.”
An article in today’s Daily Mail revealed the shock and “howls of outrage” that many of its readers, along with MPs felt at the way in which PTES managed to avoid paying their fine.
The fine was in relation to a customer, who we now know was 25 year old Chris Bruney, who took his own life after incurring spiralling gambling debts. Mr Bruney was offered various VIP bonuses and was allowed to make deposits beyond what he could afford without the required social responsibility measures being carried out by PTES.
Mr Bruney’s mother, who asked not to be named, said: “We remain utterly heartbroken at Chris’s death at the hands of this and other gambling companies and we miss him every moment of every day.
“But we are pleased Playtech have finally paid what they should. Thank you to the Daily Mail for its tenacious campaigning – this would not have happened without your reporting.”
“We would like a say in where this money goes, a proper apology from Playtech for their abusive behaviour of our son and for people to be held to account.”
Playtech have added that Claire Milne will be contacting Mr Bruney’s parents to issue a formal apology, along with this official statement:
“The findings of this investigation do not reflect where Playtech stands today.
“But while the company has made many positive and important changes we feel it is only right for us to recognise these historic failings by offering this increased amount.
“Through this action, we want to send a message to them and the wider industry of who we are today and aspire to be.”
Adding: “The Board extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Chris Bruney following the tragic event of his death.”