A United Kingdom online gambling operator has landed in hot water for failing to meet ‘social responsibility’ requirements. The operator, 888 Holdings, was found wanting in terms of player protection for problem gamblers. As a result, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has fined the company £7.8 million (NZ$14 million). 888 Holdings has ‘voluntarily agreed’ to pay the fine after a technical failure.
Over 7000 vulnerable players had opted to ban themselves from gambling on the firm’s site. However, it was found that they could still access online bingo on the Internet casino. the firm operates 888Casino, 888Games, and 888Poker to name a few.
888 Holdings – Serious Concerns
An investigation was carried out by the UKGC, after a player was identified with a gambling problem. The player in question had apparently stolen from their employer to fund a gambling habit. Over 13 months, the player had gambled over £1.24 million (NZ$2.23 million). Part of 888 Holding’s fine will be used to repay the employer and pay back deposits from other problem gamblers who wagered during the technical error.
Roughly NZ$7.67 million will be paid to a ‘socially responsible cause’ that deals with gambling-related harm. So, according to reports, 888 Holdings ‘fully cooperated’ with the UKGC throughout its investigation which began in May. A statement from 888 read: ‘We will continue to focus on improvement in the area of responsible gaming to ensure we offer the most enjoyable and safest customer experience possible.’
Problem Gambling in the UK and New Zealand
Problem gambling is a large concern both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. More so, with over 80 000 Kiwis being treated for gambling addiction at the moment, it is best to seek help. Contact any of the following organisations if you, or a loved one, are at risk.