WRC Adjudicator Decides Not to Reinstate Former Paddy Power Manager Who Breached Company’s Policy for Betting on Credits

The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power fired Emma Phillips, a former lower-level manager at the company, in 2020 after finding she had allowed customers to play on credit. She appealed the decision but the court decided not to side with her, ruling that she was the one responsible for the disagreement.

The plaintiff started working as an assistant in a Paddy Power brick-and-mortar betting shop in 2015 and was raised to the position of deputy manager. The woman claimed that she and her supervisor had seen other companies use the same practice of allowing customers credit and thought it might be beneficial for the shop to use the same practice to raise customer engagement. According to them, this could have helped the betting shop not to go out of business.

After she was dismissed, Ms Phillips appealed to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in Ireland. She claimed she did nothing wrong and was only following higher management orders and only rewarded customer loyalty by allowing some bettors to play on credit. However, her actions contravened the company’s policies and the regulations of the local gambling sector.

Her case was reviewed by WRC adjudicator Brian Dolan, according to whom she is not completely innocent.

Mr Dolan insisted that the Paddy Power manager should have addressed her supervisors before making a decision to allow customers to play on credit. Still, the WRC adjudicator agreed that the parent company of Paddy Power, Flutter Entertainment, made a harsh judgement of its employee, although, in his opinion, the gambling operator had nothing else to do but to fire Ms Phillips in order to keep its reputation intact.

Paddy Power’s Manager Was Aware of Company’s Policies Linked to Betting on Credit

According to the WRC adjudicator, despite she meant good when allowing customers to play on credit, this was a breach of Flutter Entertainment’s policies because the gambling giant does not currently allow its patrons to do so. Mr Dolan explained that while other gambling companies might recognise such practice as a way to build and enhance customer engagement and loyalty, Flutter Entertainment has emphasised the fact that it could deteriorate customers’ reckless gambling behaviour and, eventually, gambling addiction.

Under the current rules at Flutter Entertainment, customers are not allowed to take credits to bet regardless of whether they have no more money on themselves or cannot afford to gamble. As explained by the WRC adjudicator, this is a company policy that Ms Phillips and her supervisor have been supposed to be familiar with.

Eventually, the former Paddy Power manager admitted that she was aware of the fact that Flutter Entertainment’s policy does not allow punters to play on credit. She, however, tried to justify her wrongful actions with similar practices that had been used by other gambling operators in order to be allowed to keep her job.

As mentioned above, the use of gambling credits often results in other problems, especially when it comes to “I-owe-you” (IOU) acknowledgements. Bets that were made by customers on credit appear in the financial data of the company for the day but the operator does not have actual revenue to back these financial statements because customers are still expected to pay. This is why some accounting hurdles may occur for Flutter Entertainment.

The Workplace Relations Commission concluded that Ms Phillips was guilty of not addressing supervisors and managers who stood higher in the company’s hierarchy before acting in breach of Flutter Entertainment’s policies. This is why the WRC adjudicator decided not to side with her and she will not be reinstated at her job at Paddy Power.

  • Author

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.
Daniel Williams
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