Entain-owned bookmaker Ladbrokes has been fined AU$80,000 (€50,000) by the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) for serious breaches of its licensing conditions.
Ladbrokes allowed Fineff to continue gambling under an alias
The sports betting company was found to have failed in its responsibility to limit the spending of a gambler who had stolen millions of dollars from his clients in order to fund his gambling addiction.
The gambler in question, Gavin Fineff, has since pled guilty on fraud charges in a New South Wales court and is currently awaiting sentencing. According to court records, Fineff lost over AU$8 million (€5.1 million) to sports betting.
According to an investigation carried out by the Northern Territory Racing Commission, Ladbrokes had failed to query Fineff’s ability to afford his losses and did not carry out its due diligence in ascertaining the source of his funds. Instead, the company offered Fineff bonuses and enticements worth AU$528,890 (€334,706).
In statement, the NTRC noted:
“Right from the earliest moments of its first interaction with the gambler, Ladbrokes appears to have not given due attention to whether the gambler could afford to gamble to the levels that he was.
Rather than making any inquiries of substance as to whether the gambler could afford to gamble to these levels, Ladbrokes encouraged the gambler to open a betting account with it by providing attractive bonus and deposit rebate incentives as an inducement to open a betting account.”
As a result of the investigation, the NTRC imposed three fines on Ladbrokes, totaling $78,540 (€49,516) This was the maximum amount possible for each of the breaches.
During the investigation the NTRC found that Ladbrokes had verified that an account Fineff opened using an alias in fact belonged to him. Yet despite the discovery, the company continued to encourage his betting activity. His losses to Ladbrokes amounted to AU$758,510 (€480,004).
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