UK Gambling Commission slams Paddy Power for grave failings

Monday, Aug 29, 2016 15:48

After "failing to keep crime out of gambling and protect vulnerable people", Paddy Power will pay £280,000 to a socially responsible cause. This is the result of a publication by the UK Gambling Commission, which drew attention to significant failures relating to three Paddy Power customers.

In a report, entitled ‘Failures in anti-money laundering controls’, the Gambling Commission noted that they wanted to draw attention to a number of significant failings on part of Paddy Power, in order for other licensed gambling operators to ensure that their gambling facilities are provided in compliance with the Gambling Act 2015.

The report identifies failings in the way Paddy Power handled its dealings with two customers in their shops, and with one of its online customers, Mr Cooney, who was later convicted of serious criminal offences.

Following Mr Cooney's guilty plea to fraud offences in September 2015, and police confirming that Mr Cooney had spent large amounts in Paddy Power online gambling facilities, the Gambling Commission asked Paddy Power to investigate why Mr Cooney - whose offence included stealing over £250,000 from six customers at two banks where he worked - had not been flagged to sooner.

The gambling operator found that Mr Cooney's spending triggered a need to commence so-called ‘enhanced due diligence’. This was undertaken in September 2014 and involved obtaining information concerning the source of his funds. The findings concluded that, Mr Cooney was of ‘medium risk’ and that further information regarding the customer should be obtained. This did not occur and resulted in the UK Gambling Commission noting that Paddy Power failed to follow the policies and procedures that it had in place.

Aside from the £280,000 payment, Paddy Power will additionally contribute £27,250 to the Commission's investigation costs.