888, Online Gaming Firm, Fined for Lack of Social Responsibilities
The UK regulates their online gaming community pretty closely to protect its citizens from being taken advantage of by these gambling businesses. 888, an online gaming firm, recently felt the repercussions of these regulations. The company has racked up £7.8 million in fines merely because they have failed to protect their customers.
Britain formed a commission to monitor the activities of all gambling companies, and it’s called the UK Gambling Commissions. The commission was quoted finding “significant flaws” in 888’s social responsibilities. The UKGC’s main focus is protecting gamblers from all gambling related issues which means protecting consumers from themselves as well as the companies they gamble with.
Sarah Harrison commented on the matter on behalf of the UKGC. As the Chief Executive Mrs. Harrison said, “Safeguarding consumers is not an option. This penalty package of just under £8 million reflects the seriousness of 888’s failings to protect vulnerable customers.”
The consumers in trouble deposited over £3.5 million into their accounts. They also continued to gamble for over a year. This was very dangerous for 888’s members, and the UKGC found that a technical error left 7,000 members able to log into their accounts despite choosing the site’s self-exclusion option.
Mrs. Sarah Harrison added that, “The 888 sanction package will ensure those affected don’t lose out, that the operator pays the price for its failings via a sum that will go to tackling gambling-related harm, and that assurance will be given to see that lessons are learned.”
The UKGC continued the comment, “While 888 did have self-exclusion procedures in place, they were not robust enough and failed to protect potentially vulnerable customers. The lack of interaction with the customer, given the frequency, duration and sums of money involved, raised serious concerns about [the company’s] safeguarding of customers at risk.”
The UKGC also noticed that 888’s bingo page did not detect typical signs of a gambling problem. The problem became so big that it actually led the customer to participating in criminal activity. The gambling enthusiast began to gamble three or four times a day. They also gave up £1.3 million within a 13-month period. They also stole £55 thousand from their employer to fuel their gambling needs.
The fine issued by the UKGC totaled £7.8 million which was intended to cover the £3.5 million of deposits made by problem gamblers that self-excluded themselves from the site. £62 thousand will be returned to the employer whose money was stolen. The rest of the money amounts to around £4.25 million which will be used to help gambling-related issues across the country.