Online gambling business 888 fined £9.4m

The fine – one of the Gambling Commission’s largest to date – follows social responsibility and money laundering failings.

01 March 2022

Online gambling firm 888 has been fined £9.4 million for social responsibility and money laundering failings.

The Gambling Commission said 888 UK Limited, which operates 78 websites including 888.com, had also received an official warning and would undergo extensive independent auditing.

The fine – one of the largest imposed by the regulator to date – is the second enforcement action for the 888 group. In 2017 they paid a £7.8 million penalty package for failing vulnerable customers.

The commission said 888 had failed to effectively identify players at risk of harm because their policies only required financial checks after a customer had deposited £40,000.

The operator also failed to contact a customer who lost £37,000 over six weeks during the pandemic and gave another customer they knew was an NHS worker earning £1,400 a month a monthly deposit cap of £1,300.

Money laundering failures included allowing customers to deposit £40,000 before carrying out source of funds (SOF) checks and accepting verbal assurances from customers as to their income.

One customers was allowed to spend £65,835 in just five months without an SOF check.

Gambling Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes said: “The circumstances of the last enforcement action may be different but both cases involve failing consumers – and this is something that is not acceptable.

“Today’s fine is one of our largest to date, and all should be clear that if there is a repeat of the failures at 888 then we have to seriously consider the suitability of the operator to uphold the licensing objectives and keep gambling safe and crime-free.

“Consumers in Britain deserve to know that when they gamble, they are participating in a leisure activity where operators play their part in keeping them safe and are carrying out checks to ensure money is crime-free.”

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