We often read about online casinos being licensed by reputable regulatory bodies, but sometimes wonder what it really means. The regulators are meant to impose certain rules on online gambling operators and sanction them if they fail to abide by these rules. As one online casino has just found out, no regulator does it better than the UK Gambling Commission.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is a regulatory body in charge of licensing and watching over online casino operators catering the UK customers. Online casinos looking to do business legally have to request a license from this body and once issued, the license requires the casino to follow a very strict set of regulations.
888 Casino Fails to Protect Consumers?
One of the regulations that the UKGC imposes on online gambling operators is that all customers must be able to request self-exclusion from gambling activities at the site and that once granted, the players are not able to play any games at the site in question for the given period.
While 888 Casino did allow customers to self-exclude from their platform, over 7,000 customers who had used this option were banned from the operator’s casino, poker and sports betting sites, but were still allowed to use the 888 Bingo platform, which is a serious breach of the UKGC License conditions.
According to the report of the UKGC, these 7,000 customers ended up losing over £3.5 Million over 13 months, £1.3 Million came from a single customer who even stole £55.000 from his employer to feed his gambling addiction. UKGC saw the failure of 888 Casino to protect its customers as a very serious breach of rules and decided to fine the casino with a very serious penalty of £7.8 Million, which is more than any online casino has been fined by its regulator in the past.
The sum of £7.8 Million is meant to recover the £3.5 Million for the customers who had self-excluded from the platform, who will be compensated for their losses and pay back the £55.000 to the employer who was stolen from, along with £7.000 in compensations, with the remaining £4.25 Million meant for investment in measures to combat problem gambling.
UKGC Seriously Tackling Problem Gambling
Of all the regulatory bodies that exist in the world of online gambling, UKGC has been on the forefront of the combat against gambling addiction and gambling caused harm. This recent penalty against 888 is just one in a string of measures against operators failing to protect consumers from the potential dangers of gambling.
According to Sarah Harrison, the CEO of the UKGC, the Commission’s mission is to keep all consumers well protected from the harms of problem gambling and the operators have to comply in full, with player protection not being optional. 888 officials have responded with a statement which accepts the penalty and the results of the review. The statement further emphasized that 888 remains fully committed to keeping players protected and providing them with an enjoyable and safe playing experience.