Ladbrokes Australia is fined for breach of gambling regulation

Lea Hogg 1 year ago
Ladbrokes Australia is fined for breach of gambling regulation

The Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) in Australia said that Ladbrokes failed to carry out due diligence on a customer’s source of funds. Consequently the regulator issued the operator with a penalty fine of A$78,540 (US $52,747).

NTRC was advised about this breach by the actual gambler who said that although his annual salary is AS $145000 (US$ 97,338) annual salary he did not have the means to qualify for the funding that was made accessible to him. Australia’s The Guardian newspaper named the gambler in question as Gavin Fineff even though the NTRC chose not to disclose his name and referred to him as ‘the gambler’ during all proceedings.

Records indicated that the customer initially deposited A$2.2 million (US $1.48 million). During a period of nearly two years Fineff withdrew nearly A$1.5 million (US 1 million) and lost A$758,510 (US $508,580).

The vast majority of these funds gambled by me were obtained from other people’ – Gavin Fineff

He admitted that fraudulent activity took place.

Gavin Fineff

According to the Australian Press, Fineff is awaiting sentencing in New South Wales after pleading guilty to ‘multiple criminal offences’. It was also reported that he may have lost as much as A$8 million (US $5.35 million) through sportsbetting. He allegedly acquired the money through friends, relatives and clients in his role as a financial advisor.

However Fineff claimed that a salesperson representing Ladbrokes contacted him to promote the company’s gambling services and offered him a welcome bonus of an undisclosed sum estimated to be up to A$20,000 (US $13, 400). His account with Ladbrokes was set up under a pseudonym.  Once his account was established Fineff was offered further bonuses of A$528,890 (US $353,721.63), A$416,390 (US $27,848.16 ) and A$112,500 (US $75,150) respectively.

Fineff continued to explain that Ladbrokes never referred to any aspect of the requirements of responsible gaming during his association with the company. He further alleges that no limits were placed on his gaming account. He said that he was never stopped or questioned by the operator with regards to the money he was spending. Simply put, there were no checks he said, adding “why wasn’t I stopped?’.

Ladbrokes argued that on 5 July 2019 Fineff was requested to set up a deposit limit but he failed to do so.

Fineff also complained of a possible failure of data protection claiming that Ladbrokes acquired his details and contact information from another bookmaker where he had registered his personal information.

Ladbrokes deny this and claim to have acquired Fineff’s details from the public domain explaining that it had taken weeks to open Fineff’s account as he had demanded VIP treatment.

Conclusion

The Commission concluded that there was a breach of licensing regulations by Ladbrokes firstly in the company’s initial contact with Fineff ‘urging him to gamble’ without undertaking any affordability checks and secondly for failing to identify that Fineff may have been a problem gambler. Ladbrokes was also found guilty to have known Fineff’s identify prior to contacting him thereby infringing data protection protocol.

Ladbrokes was handed three separate fines of A$26,180 totaling A$78,540.

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