The online gambling operator LeoVegas has suffered the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) backlash due to violations of gambling advertising rules. The gambling regulatory body imposed a monetary fine on the company for failings related to misleading advertising and lack of adequacy when handling customers at the end of their self-exclusion period.
The Commission has reviewed the operating licence of LeoVegas and has decided to impose a monetary penalty amounting to £600,000 to the operator, so that the latter divest itself of the funds that have been received as a result of its failures to comply with the existing regulatory framework. The company is also set to pay the costs made by the Gambling Commission at the time of the review and investigation.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Neil McArthur, commented on the imposed penalty on LeoVegas, saying that the outcome of the case should not leave anyone in doubt that the UK gambling watchdog would be relentless when it comes to compliance with existing regulatory standards, licence conditions and codes of practice. In addition, Mr. McArthur shared that the Commission is to penalise all license holders that use misleading advertising campaigns to attract more consumers or that fail to meet the standards set in the watchdog’s license conditions.
LeoVegas Joins Gambling Operators Spanked by UKGC
As mentioned above, the UK gambling regulatory watchdog carried out an investigation, which found LeoVegas guilty in misleading advertising and failures in properly handling self-exclusion periods of customers.
The investigation held by the UK Gambling Commission found that the online gambling operator was responsible for a total of 41 commercials which were misleading to customers. What is more, the company was proved to have sent marketing materials to almost 1,900 people who had previously taken advantage of the right to self-exclusion.
In addition, the action held by the watchdog to review the license and activity of the operator showed that LeoVegas failed to return funds to more than 11,200 customers at the time when they chose to use the right to self-exclusion and to close their accounts with the company. The online gambling company also proved not to have been able to provide adequate restriction to customers who have excluded themselves, after it allowed 413 customers who had already excluded themselves from gambling operations to access such services without speaking to them first or applying the so-called cool-off period of 24 hours before giving them the green light to gamble.
LeoVegas is not the first gambling operator who have suffered the Commission’s backlash for violations. Back in February, the regulatory body first imposed a £350,000 fine on GVC Holdings. Then, only a few days later, it was the UK betting operator William Hill that felt the burden of a massive penalty package estimated to £6.2 million due to senior management systemic failures to provide the expected customer protection and prevent money laundering. Customer protection failures were also the reason why Gala Interactive suffered a £2.3-million fine at the beginning of November 2017.