The Gambling Commission is investigating claims that the online casino agency LeoVegas usual £20,000 from a problem gambler who had stolen the money from his mother, and then bombarded him with emails encouraging him to keep making a bet.
Details of the case, exposed through the Guardian, sparked renewed calls from campaigners and politicians for gambling businesses to carry out more rigorous tests before customers place bets.
The improving addict, who’s receiving remedy but should nonetheless face prosecution, had his account locked via LeoVegas in May 2018 after a customer service employee flagged up “regarding” communique for the duration of a live webchat.
The account was suspended days after LeoVegas received a £600,000 penalty from the Gambling Commission for separate incidents of accepting bets from problem gamblers.
Despite the suspension, sister agencies within the LeoVegas group, such as Pink Casino and Castle Jackpot, endured sending him advertising emails as frequently as 4 times in a day imparting “free spins” and bonuses.
In January 2019, after months of receiving the emails, the gambler set up a brand new account with 21.Co.United kingdom, also part of the Leo Gaming institution. He used the identical name and e mail cope with however this time registered his mom’s debit card.
He proceeded to gamble away approximately £20,000 before 21.Co.United kingdom asked for ID verification and, on realising that he turned into the use of someone else’s card, in the end blocked his account.
Once again, though, sister organizations within the Leo Gaming institution resumed sending advertising emails from a number of its websites, providing loose spins and refunds on losses.
As well as using his mother’s card without permission, the gambler had racked up thousands of kilos in debt from payday creditors such as 247Moneybox, MyJar and Satsuma.
Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, who is pushing for tighter controls on online gambling, said: “It makes no experience for gambling corporations to be doing ID and affordability exams after gamblers have lost massive sums as opposed to before they’ve positioned the bets.
“The entire machine seems the wrong manner spherical. We also want to peer instantaneous movement to scrap credit score card making a bet and quit the practice of bombarding playing addicts with gambling commercials.”
A Gambling Commission spokesman stated: “We are absolutely clean with operators approximately the rules that they need to comply with to save you and shield their clients from experiencing harm from playing. Where we see evidence that those policies are not being accompanied, we are able to investigate.”
The case comes as the authorities conducts a review of whether regulations overlaying online making a bet need to be tightened, including through more potent ID tests and guidelines that save you gamblers from putting bets on credit.
Online casinos and bookmakers are not currently required to check whether or not gamblers can afford their dependancy before allowing them to place bets.
The Gambling Commission is thought to have gathered proof relating to the case and is analyzing whether or not LeoVegas breached the conditions of its licence to perform within the UK. LeoVegas declined to comment.
In 2018 the Gambling Commission compelled LeoVegas to pay a £600,000 penalty for a series of transgressions after a evaluation of the corporation’s licence to function within the UK.
The majority of the flaws related to self-exclusion structures, which permit gamblers to bar themselves voluntarily from setting bets with a company. The regulator observed that 1,894 LeoVegas customers were sent advertising material in spite of having signed as much as its self-exclusion scheme.
More than 400 customers were allowed to guess £2 hundred,000 over two months, without the business enterprise speakme to them first or making use of a 24-hour “cooling-off” length.
April 2019 Bookies withdraw new video games after they’re accused of trying to bypass legal guidelines reducing stakes on fixed-odds making a bet terminals from £100 a spin to £2.
December 2018 Ladbrokes is revealed to have paid £1m to victims of a trouble gambler who had stolen from them, in return for a pledge not to tell the enterprise regulator.
November 2018 Three on line casinos pay out £14m in regulatory consequences over disasters in money-laundering and hassle playing controls.
May 2018 Leo Vegas gets £600,000 penalty for accepting bets from problem gamblers and sending them advertising cloth.
March 2018 SkyBet hit with £1m penalty for permitting gamblers who had self-excluded to maintain having a bet and sending them marketing fabric.
August 2017 Online on line casino 888 fined a file £7.8m for disasters in its duty to defend greater than 7,000 susceptible clients.