An investigation has been rolled out by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) into the claims that bets amounting to £20,000 has been accepted the online gambling operator LeoVegas from a gambling addict who had stolen the money from his mother. The company has also been accused of targeting the player with emails afterwards to encourage him to keep betting.
Details regarding the case were unveiled by the Guardian, only to fuel new controversy and make politicians and anti-gambling campaigners call for more in-depth checks into players’ ID and background before letting them place bets.
It turned out that the player who had placed the bets amounting to a total of £20,000 is a recovering gambling addict, who is still getting treatment. Despite that, he could still face prosecution for his actions. As a matter of fact, the player had his account locked by the online casino operator in May 2018, after a customer service employee had reported the communication between them as concerning. LeoVegas suspended the account only a few days after it faced a massive £600,000 monetary penalty from the UKGC for a number of incidents of accepting bets from gambling addicts.
Although the account was suspended, the player still received marketing emails from sister companies in LeoVegas group, including Castle Jackpot and Pink Casino. As reported, the emails were sent as often as four times a day to offer the player bonuses and free spins.
Player Spent about £20,000 after Registering with His Mother’s Debit Card
Then, after a few months of receiving the emails encouraging him to gamble, the player created a new account with another sister company in the Leo Gaming group – 21.co.uk – in January 2019. He even used the same name and email address to set up the account, but this time he entered his mother’s debit card number.
The total amount which he managed to gamble away before the gambling operator asked him to verify his ID and eventually blocked his account after realising that the man was using the debit card of another person was about £20,000. Apart from that, the player had debts estimated to thousands of pounds which he owed to payday lenders including MyJar, 247Moneybox and Satsuma.
What is even more concerning is the fact that sister companies in the Leo Gaming group once again started sending him marketing emails offering bonuses, losses’ refund and free spins after his account was suspended.
According to media reports, the major gambling regulatory body in the UK – the Gambling Commission – has already collected evidence relating to the case and is now investigating whether LeoVegas violated the conditions of its UK gambling operation licence. A spokesperson for the UKGC has reminded that the Commission has always been clear that gambling operators have to follow the rules in terms of customer protection and responsible gambling.