Following on from the news of an £80,000 fine for Stan James from the Gambling Commission [read more here], Gala Interactive have been slapped with a far heftier fine for the same reason!
On 6th November the Gambling Commission published details of a fine worth £2.3 million, a fine levied against them for a failure around social responsibility.
This action came about following the discovery of major flaws in how Gala Interactive dealt with two high-rollers. In total, over a 14 month period, the paid gambled £1.3m of stolen money!
Losing Streak At Gala Interactive
Player A lost a total of £837,545 in a 14 month period and the second customer, Player B, £432,765 in an 11 month period.
The investigation by the Gambling Commission revealed that Gala had not interacted effectively with the two players despite it being clear that they were displaying symptoms of problem gambling behaviour.
What really seems to have niggled the Gambling Commission is that this was not the first time! A previous case with Gala Coral from April 2016 [read more here] saw Gala tell the Gambling commission that customers of concern would handled sooner and more effectively. It was made whilst Player A and Player B were gambling with Gala!
The package of £2.3 million will see the victims of the crimes of Player A and Player B refunded and the remaining £1 million will be used to fund research around problem gambling.
Both the players were imprisoned for their crimes with Player A receiving a four year sentence and Player B, four and a half years.
Gambling Commission Statement
The Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission is reported as having said
It is the responsibility of all operators – particularly key decision makers in those companies – to ensure they are protecting their customers and step in when there is behaviour that might indicate problem gambling.
This did not happen in this case and the £2.3m penalty package should serve as a warning to other operators.