Betfred fined £800,000

Betfred fined £800,000

Betfred have agreed to pay an £800,000 settlement, after it transpired that they'd taken stolen money from a 'VIP' customer. Not only that, they encouraged the customer to keep gambling with free drinks and day trips.

The bookmaker were found guilty of failing to meet their obligations regarding social responsibility and the prevention of money laundering, after they'd taken big sums of money from a convicted thief called Matthew Stevens.

Stevens pleaded guilty to two counts of theft earlier this year.

This follows a BBC investigation, which saw claims being made against Coral, who were allegedly told to offer customers certain perks in a bid to keep them betting.

The Gambling Commission said Betfred are going to pay in advance of £800,000 in "compensation and in contribution towards socially responsible causes" after their licence was reviewed.

Betfred will pay £443,000 to the victims of the criminal activities, while another £344,500 will go to the aforementioned socially responsible causes. In addition to that, the bookies will also pay for the commission's investigation costs, as well as doing an independent third party review of its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies and procedures.

Since Sarah Harrison took over as chief executive of the Gambling Commission, there's been a big crackdown on bookmakers, and it looks like she's not slowing down.

The regulator announced an £880,000 settlement with Coral in April, while Paddy Power had to pay £280,000.

Richard Watson, programme director at the commission, said: “We identified a number of weaknesses in the anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls used by Betfred. The penalty package of over £800,000 reflects these failures."

"The commission has now concluded a wide range of cases over the last 10 months leading to around £3.75million in penalty packages."

"The outcomes and findings in these cases provide a clear signal to operators of the need to learn the lessons from these for social responsibility and money laundering controls, or risk facing tougher sanctions."

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