Paddy Power with a Hard-Learned Lesson
The popular betting operator will invest nearly £300,000 in a socially responsible cause after the UK Gambling Commission found out it hadn’t accomplished a proper investigation into a problem customer’s sources of income and had even encouraged the customer to continue spending cash on the fixed-odds betting machines until he lost all his jobs, his home and access to his children. And this has not been the operator’s sole transgression, it appears.
The money Paddy Power has agreed to pay out are, actually, an attempt to cancel all the profits it had made in at least two cases of suspicious betting. The first case concerns Paddy’s failure to apply a strict responsible gambling policy to a problem gambler. The customer in question used to bet on the FOB, also known as “the crack cocaine” of gambling. The terminals would accept bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds. The games played there are various, but they always have fixed odds. There was a huge rally against FOB’s, and a motion was made in 2015 to cap the maximum stake at £2 instead of the present £100. This attempt, however, was not successful. To get back to our customer. He used to spend a lot, but no proper check on his sources of income was made. The shop staff raised concern, but senior management instructed them to encourage the customer to continue betting. It wasn’t until a member of the staff met the customer on the street, that they learned he was out of work, homeless and estranged from his family. He was then directed to help and was not seen in the shop again. Hopefully, the young man has been healed!
The second case came a couple of months later when a female customer started frequenting a shop and betting on the FOB’s again. She used Scottish notes to bet but asked for her winnings to be paid out to a debit card. That is suspicious behaviour, yet the investigation on behalf of the shop staff into it stopped short when she simply said that she had her own small business. It wasn’t before the London police sounded the alarm regarding crime-related Scottish banknotes which were being laundered at that time in London, that the customer’s background was checked and, failing to prove the truth of her statement, she was barred from the shop. Although the shop staff repeatedly reported their concern to the senior management, this case showed the same lack of adequate reaction on the side of the betting company.
Now, Paddy Power is to spend some money and to improve their responsible policy. Let’s hope for that. I have played on their bingo site, and I have always had a great time; the website is such fun, with nice bonuses and good offers. If you are interested already, read our comprehensive review here.