Paddy Power admits 'unacceptable' AML breaches

Paddy Power admits 'unacceptable' AML breaches

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 Totally Gaming
The operator said it has now improved its procedures

Paddy Power Betfair has admitted to “unacceptable” failures in its procedures concerning crime prevention and protecting vulnerable people, after it was found to have breached UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) regulations.

The company will contribute £280,000 (€355,500/$388,500) to socially responsible causes and share lessons with the industry after the UKGC revealed failings in Paddy Power’s relationships with three customers.

The operator was found to have inadequately dealt with a problem gambler, named only as Customer A, while in the case of Customer B, senior staff failed to act on money-laundering suspicions, which proved to be correct, expressed by a shop manager.

In the third case, the company agreed it did not follow its own due diligence procedures after admitting that it had accepted a “significant amount” of money from Mark Cooney, an online customer who was found guilty of fraud offences relating to the theft of more than £250,000.

“The historical failings outlined in this report were clearly unacceptable,” a Paddy Power Betfair spokesperson said. “Paddy Power has since significantly strengthened its internal procedures and staff have been retrained to ensure these procedures are implemented effectively.

“Paddy Power Betfair takes its responsibilities extremely seriously and we have co-operated fully with the UKGC at every stage of this process.”

The UKGC has urged all operators to read details of the failures and ensure that their own processes are in line with the regulator’s requirements.

Richard Watson, programme director at the UKGC said: “We expect the industry will learn the lessons from this case – it is their duty to keep crime out of gambling and protect vulnerable people from harm. If operators don’t implement processes and policies aimed at doing this then they risk losing their operating licence.

“Paddy Power failed in its dealing with three customers and is now facing the consequences of these actions in a very public way.”

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