Ladbrokes in Hot Water Over Problem Gambler
Time and again, the UK Gambling Commission has made clear its intention to do everything possible to protect vulnerable problem gamblers. With the proliferation of online gambling all over the world, there’s a certain responsibility the gambling industry has to make sure customer perception of high integrity remains intact.
As reported in Europe, it turns out that Ladbrokes, one of Europe’s largest gambling conglomerates, has gotten itself in hot water over a problem gambling issue. This is a serious industry problem, something online gambling destinations like SlotSino have to avoid at all costs.
According to documents received by the Guardian newspaper, Ladbrokes showered a favorite customer with thousands of pounds in perks to keep him coming back for more action. The list of perks included airplane travel, premium tickers for Premiere Soccer League matches and other sports events, access to the company’s box at Royal Ascot and first-class customer service. The perks were given out over a two-year period where the high roller may have lost more than a million euros to Ladbrokes and perhaps other bookmakers.
While the British citizen was a person of means through his own property development business in Dubai, at least 975,000 pounds of his losses came from funds that were fraudulently taken from at least five of the individual’s business clients.
Apparently, these five people approached Ladbrokes about allowing their client to gamble with stolen money. This would be a direct violation of several rules governed by the UK Gambling Commission. Rather than risk scrutiny from the Commission, Ladbrokes decided to reimburse the amounts that were reported stolen in exchange for the individuals agreeing “not to bring any complaint or make any report to any regulator in relation to the claim.”
While offering perks to high rollers is perfectly legal and standard practice throughout the gambling industry, there’s an expectation each online and land-based gambling provider with use good judgement when dealing with clients who may be gambling irregularly. According to the gambler in question, who wishes to remain anonymous, he once took a 5-month break from gambling, telling his personal customer service representative, he “feared he had a gambling problem and was trying to take a break”. Even more troubling was the gambler’s claim Ladbrokes continued to offer him perks during his self-imposed sabbatical.
After being forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the payoffs to the victims, the gambler decided he needed to report said activities to the UK Gambling Commission. As he claims, he did so because he never really approved nor was party to the actual agreement between Ladbrokes and the victims.
In a move many industry experts call unprecedented, the Commission decided to go public with this information in the spirit of transparency. The situation is under investigation and could result in Ladbrokes receiving heavy fines in addition to the money given to the victims.
As for the gambler, he claims to have lost his home, business and family because of his problem gambling. He is currently receiving treatment from the Gordon Moody Association.