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UK Gambling Commission PENALIZES Entain: £17 Million Fine

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The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been cracking down on casino operators with regularity for failing to adhere to anti-money laundering guidelines and failing to protect problem gamblers. The newest target of the UKGC is the Entain Group.

The Entain Group owns and operates LC Limited International, an online business that runs 13 websites including some of the largest online gaming brands in Britain, like and The Entain Group also operates Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited, a brand with 2,746 live gambling locations in Britain. The Entain Group is being ordered to pay over £17 million ($20.1 million) for infractions occurring between December 2019 and October 2020.

UKGC Orders Entain Group to Pay £17 Million

Essentially, the UKGC is asserting that these casino brands bear the responsibility of ensuring that their customers are not problem gamblers and that the funds wagered on their sites are legally obtained. It is placing some of the blame for gambling losses on the operators as opposed to the players who made the decision to gamble despite not being in a position to responsibly do so. Many people view this tyrannical enforcement unfavorably, but these tactics are fairly standard for the UKGC.

Background Information

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The Entain Group is a company operating numerous online and retail gaming entities. Entain offers all different kinds of gambling across its various brands, including sports betting, poker, bingo, and numerous casino games. Some of the notable brands Entain operates include Ladbrokes, Coral, BetMGM, Eurobet, PartyPoker, and Foxy Bingo. The Entain Group used to be known as GVC Holdings until it decided on a name change in December 2020.

Entain Group Website Home PageThe Home Page of the Entain Group Website

What Did the Entain Group Do Wrong?

The UKGC has ordered the Entain Group to pay £17 million ($20.1 million) for anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility failures. The Entain Group will pay £14 million ($16.6 million) for its failures relating to its online brands and another £3 million ($3.5 million) for failures at its land-based operations. There is a total of nine failures detailed in the ruling issued on Aug. 17th, 2022, and a few of the most notable of them are:

  • Allowing customers to open multiple accounts after being blocked or banned. One customer was blocked by Coral after spending £60,000 (about $71,000) and immediately opened a Ladbrokes account, depositing £30,000 (approximately $35,000).
  • Failing to interact with customers to minimize their risk of harm. One customer was able to deposit £230,845 ($273,089) during an 18-month period and the operator only interacted with the customer once during this time period.
  • Allowing customers to deposit large amounts without proper Source of Funds (SOF) checks. One customer was allowed to deposit £742,000 ($878,000) in 14 months without SOF checks.
  • Failing to conduct enhanced due diligence checks soon enough. One customer was able to deposit £524,501 ($620,485) over a 10-month period. The customer's account was eventually closed after not providing SOF documentation.

The Executive Director of the Gambling Commission, Andrew Rhodes, commented on the recent enforcement:

Our investigation revealed serious failures that have resulted in the largest enforcement outcome to date.

There were completely unacceptable anti-money laundering and safer gambling failures. Operators are reminded they must never place commercial considerations over compliance.

This is the second time this operator has fallen foul of rules in place to make gambling safer and crime free.

They should be aware that we will be monitoring them very carefully and further serious breaches will make the removal of their licence to operate a very real possibility. We expect better and consumers deserve better.

Andrew Rhodes, Executive Director of the UK Gambling CommissionAndrew Rhodes, the Executive Director of the UK Gambling Commission

As Mr. Rhodes alluded to, this is not the first time the Entain Group has gotten itself into trouble. Back in 2019, the commission fined GVC (now known as Entain) £5.9 million (about $7.1 million at that time) for similar violations. We imagine that the prior violations played a role in the size of the penalty this time around. The £17 million payment is the largest such enforcement to date by the UKGC.

Details of the Settlement

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The Entain Group has accepted that its practices have been inadequate, and it has promised to make swift improvements in its AML and problem gambling policies and management. Additionally, the Entain Group is ordered to pay the following fines as a part of the regulatory settlements:

  • LC International is ordered to make a total payment of £14 million in lieu of a penalty. All £14 million will be directed towards socially responsible purposes.
  • Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming is ordered to make a total payment of £3 million in lieu of a penalty. All £3 million will be directed towards socially responsible purposes.

Have the UKGC's Efforts Been Successful?

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The UKGC has been ramping up enforcement in recent years, targeting numerous operators for failures relating to responsible gambling and anti-money laundering. Back in June 2018, the UKGC levied a £2 million penalty against 32Red. In November 2018, three operators were fined almost £14 million. There are seemingly endless examples of the UKGC fining online gambling operators. One of the largest fines sanctioned was against Caesars Entertainment back in 2020 when the UKGC fined Caesars over £13 million.

In theory, all of this enforcement would reduce problem gambling and achieve positive results, but unfortunately, the reality seems to be much different. There is little to no evidence that these punishments are effective. The UKGC claims to be protecting players, but none of the money will be returned to players, and instead, it appears that these enforcements simply help pad the pockets of the UKGC under the guise of contributing to responsible gaming efforts.

Offshore Gaming Widely Available in the UK and Beyond

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Players in the UK may wonder if the UKGC's enforcement and rules truly help create a safe gambling environment. We feel that these enforcements create bad blood and unnecessarily hurt the industry as a whole. If you are searching for a place to gamble online, we suggest considering an offshore operator so you don't have to deal with the difficulties associated with the UKGC's actions.

One of the best offshore options for players in Britain is Many different gambling options are on offer at Tiger Gaming, including casino gaming, poker, and sports betting. To learn more about this reliable operator and the bonuses offered, be sure to check out our detailed Tiger Gaming review.

If you reside outside of Britain, there are also plenty of gaming options available to choose from. Feel free to check out our guides included below to learn more about the gaming options available to you.