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UK News

Christian group highlights 'wider challenge' in gambling industry after Betway hit with record fine

by Tola Mbakwe

A Christian public policy has said it's "absolutely right" that the gambling regulator has fined Betway £11.6 million.

However, CARE believes the Gambling Commission must address systemic issues in the industry. 

The online gambling business was hit with the record fine for a series of social responsibility and money laundering failings.

The Gambling Commission said that in one instance the operator failed to carry out source of funds checks on a "VIP" customer who deposited over £8 million and lost more than £4 million during a four-year period.

Betway also failed to carry out effective social responsibility interactions with a customer who deposited and lost £187,000 in two days.

An investigation found that as a result of a lack of consideration of individual customers' affordability and source of funds checks, the operator allowed £5.8 million of money to flow through the business which has been found, or could reasonably be suspected to be, proceeds of crime.

CARE's communication manager, James Mildred, has welcomed the Gambling Commission's "tough" punishment. 

"It is absolutely right that it should be cracking down on the sort of malpractice evidenced by Betway." he said.  

"This story speaks to the wider challenge in that we have a betting industry that has got used to a lack of regulation. 

"Meanwhile, there is a lack of support for those with gambling related harms."

Mildred added that the UK's gambling laws must be updated to hold irresponsible gambling companies accountable.  

"A major part of why we are in this situation is that the current laws on gambling in England and Wales are simply not working," he said. 

"The Government has promised a review of the 2005 Gambling Act and this should pave the way for genuine reform. 

"We look forward to engaging with that review, as soon as it is launched and will be making the case for new laws that prioritise protecting people from gambling related harms."

The majority of the money from the fine will now be divested and returned to victims,

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