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Kirsty Handyside
Kirsty Handyside
Date Published: 2 Apr 2020
Last Updated: 2 Apr 2020

Gambling Commission Fines Ceasars Entertainment Ltd £13 Million for ‘Systematic Failings’

Betting, Gambling and Gaming Gambling Commission Fines Ceasars Entertainment Ltd £13 Million for ‘Systematic Failings’

The Gambling Commission has today announced that Caesars Entertainment Ltd will be fined following a series of social responsibility, money laundering and customer interaction failures. In addition, the relevant licence holders repeatedly failed to comply with the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP). Three of the company’s senior managers have surrendered their personal licenses as a result of the investigation.

The business, which operates 11 casinos in Britain, primarily in the London area, will pay the £13 million fine following the findings, and the penalty will be directed towards delivering the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

The serious systematic failings were identified in relation to the way the company took decisions about their VIP customers between January 2016 and December 2018. Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission Neil McArther advised “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.

The Gambling Commission identified the following:

Social responsibility failings included:

  • 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 was 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.

Money laundering failings included:

  • 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.

The Gambling Commissions investigations into Personal Management Licence holders remain on-going.

These findings are just the latest in a string of fines imposed by the Gambling Commission this year, with the industry paying £27 million in penalty packages including £11.6 million from Betway and £3 million from Mr Green. Please click here for the UK Gambling Commission Ruling and for additional information on the ruling from the Financial Times and the Guardian.

How can Ellis Jones help you?

Ellis Jones has a specialist betting and gaming disputes team to provide compassionate and client-focused assistance to those who have suffered losses as a result of misconduct on the part of betting operators. We have experience of dealing with and resolving matters in a number of different ways, including in relation to court proceedings, submitting complaints to betting companies, and working with the Gambling Commission and other agencies.

Please email Kirsty Handyside (Kirsty.handyside@ellisjones.co.uk) or Paul Kanolik (Paul.Kanolik@ellisjones.co.uk), or alternatively, telephone us on 01202 525333 to discuss your case and how we may be able to assist you in recovering your losses.

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Kirsty Handyside
Kirsty Handyside