Paddy Power Betfair (LON: PPB) has been fined £2.2 million by the Gambling Commission.
According to the watchdog, the betting group had failed to protect customers that showed signs of problem gambling.
Richard Watson, Gambling Commission executive director, said: “As a result of Paddy Power Betfair’s failings, significant amounts of stolen money flowed through their exchange and this is simply not acceptable. Operators have a duty to all of their customers to seek to prevent the proceeds of crime from being used in gambling.”
“These failings all stem from one simple principle: operators must know their customer. If they know their customer and ask the right questions then they place themselves in a strong position to meet their anti-money-laundering and social responsibility obligations.”
One customer that Paddy Power Betfair failed to intervene with was Simon Price, who stole over £900,000 from a charity over four years.
The majority of the fine will be donated to Gamble Aware, a charity working to reduce gambling-related harm in Britain. In addition, £50,000 will be paid towards the commission’s investigative costs and the money that gambler Simon Price stole from the charity will be returned.
The Paddy Power Betfair chief executive, Peter Jackson, said: “We have a responsibility to intervene when our customers show signs of problem gambling. In these five cases our interventions were not effective and we are very sorry that this occurred.”
“In recent years, we have invested in an extensive programme of work to strengthen our resources and systems in responsible gambling and customer protection. We are encouraged that the Gambling Commission has recognised significant improvement since the time of these cases in 2016,” he added.
The Gambling Commission’s last fine was towards William Hill (LON: WMH) in February, which had to pay £6.2 million for failing to protect customers and prevent money laundering.