UK Gambling Commission sanctions Paddy Power over AML, social responsibility failures

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has earlier today published a statement on its website telling gambling operators in the country to learn from the failures of Paddy Power Group.

Paddy Power, which recently merged with Betfair, is named and shamed over failures regarding anti-money laundering controls and social responsibility. For that matter, the company will have to pay £280,000 ($387,970) in total to an agreed socially responsible cause.

The sum of £280,000 reflects profits made from three problematic customers and a voluntary payment.

Paddy Power did not refuse services to Customer A, who had a gambling issue and instead encouraged him to gamble. The company failed to respond adequately to suspicions of money laundering in relation to Customer B. It also failed to establish the sources of funds of Customer A and Mr Mark Cooney, with the latter having been convicted of grave criminal offences.

Paddy Power has acknowledged that it failed to have and apply a customer interaction policy which complied with social responsibility code provision, which is a condition of its licence. This provision prevents vulnerable people from being exploited by gambling operators. The company also admitted that it had an anti-money laundering (AML) policy which was inadequate in that it did not include reference to the spending of the proceeds of crime.

Paddy Power has reached a Voluntary settlement with the Gambling Commission. On top of the monetary penalty agreed, the company has accepted to pay for a third party review of its anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls. It has also committed to amending policies and procedures to address the shortcomings identified in the course of the investigation.

Richard Watson, Programme Director at the Commission said:

“We expect the industry will learn the lessons from this case – it is their duty to keep crime out of gambling and protect vulnerable people from harm. If operators don’t implement processes and policies aimed at doing this then they risk losing their operating licence. Paddy Power failed in its dealing with three customers and is now facing the consequences of these actions in a very public way.”

The full Gambling Commission report can be viewed by clicking here.

Read Also: