UKGC slaps Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited with close to a £3 million fine
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission recently issued a £2.87 million fine to Petre (Gibraltar) Limited for its operation failures.
As an avid online casino player, I have always been very interested in what goes on behind the scenes. The inner workings of the industry, if you will. This is why I love reporting these sorts of news.
As you probably already know, the online casino industry as a whole is a huge business with massive amounts of money flowing through it every single day. Because of this, it is only natural that potential fines from governing international bodies are typically much larger than that of your average parking ticket. One apropos example of this was when the UKGC regulator reprimanded Petre (Gibraltar) Limited for its mishaps related to concepts of anti-money laundering and responsible gambling.
The major problem that the UKGC pointed out was that the company responsible for the websites Betfred.com as well as OddsKing.com had ”no controls in place to prevent large levels of high velocity spend by new customers.” In essence, the regulator had found that a newly joined customer had managed to lose £70,000 (€79,800) in a 10-hour period after only 24 hours of joining the site.
The findings come over 15 years after the Gambling Commission had previously chastised Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited for inadequate safe gambling triggers and gambling account reviews. This included a case where a person had first been contacted after losing £10,200 but then allowed to lose another £69,371 without any interference in the span of 4 months.
The anti-money laundering controls of Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited were also found to be lacking. For instance, the UKGC stated that the operator could provide ”no evidence of on-going monitoring prior to initial financial triggers being reached” and even ”provided inadequate employee training.”
Again, as a fan of online casinos, I am quite relieved to read these kinds of news. Although it can be somewhat alarming when transgressions such as these come to light, at least it shows you that someone—in this case the United Kingdom Gambling Commission—is paying attention. In a perfect world, all of these sorts of operators, or at least their failures to protect their customers, should be weeded out as soon as possible.
Clearly, a responsible operator should have intervened instead of letting a brand new customer lose what may have been all of his life savings at an online casino. Certainly, not all of us can afford to lose £70,000 per day, which means a Know Your Customer procedure should have probably been triggered when the losses started piling up to the thousands.
I feel like justice was served here and I commend UKGC for taking a strong stance in order to keep the business as clean as possible!