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Sunday, 31 May 2020

Gambling Operator PTES Closes After Gambling Commission Investigation

Gambling operator PTES has closed following an investigation by the UK Gambling Commission.

The UK Gambling Commission launched an investigation into PT Entertainment Services, the operator of Winner.co.uk and Titan Bet, after the regulatory body was contacted by the family of a PTES customer who took his life in April 2017 at the age of 25. As the Commission launched its investigation in March 2019, PTES surrendered its license, but the Commission continued its investigation and published its findings this week.

According to the Gambling Commission’s investigation, the firm found “serious systematic failings” over the way PTES managed its social responsibility and anti-money laundering processes. Regarding the man who took his own life, the Commission found that the operator failed to carry out responsible gambling interactions with the customer despite being aware that several of his debit card transactions had been declined. What’s more, the Gambling Commission reports that PETS provided him with a VIP status without verifying that he could afford to spend the large sums of money he was playing all.

The Commission’s investigation also found several failings regarding the way PTES interacted with its high-spending customers, and if the gambling operator hadn’t surrendered its license during the investigation, the Commission would have imposed a £3.5 million penalty as well as additional sanctions. The UK Gambling Commission ended its report by stating that it is continuing to investigate individuals at the company and will take appropriate action against them.

A Statement From The UKGC

Neil McArthur, the Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive, said in a statement: “This is a tragic case which came to light after I was contacted by the family of the young man who very sadly took his own life. I want to thank them for their bravery in bringing his case to our attention and we are grateful for the way they have worked with us in such terrible circumstances so that we could understand what happened.”

He continued: “Although PTES has ceased trading we decided to complete our investigation and publish our findings, as the lessons from this tragic case must be learned by all operators. Our investigations into the role played by key individuals at PTES are continuing. As such, it would be inappropriate to say more about the specific case at this time.”

“This case – like so many others we have seen – illustrates why the management of so-called ‘high-value customers’ has to change. Operators must do everything in their power to interact with customers responsibly. We will shortly be opening a consultation to make permanent changes to the way operators recruit and incentivise high-value customers.”

Earlier this year, the Commission published a report revealing that the gambling regulator is looking at ways to alter how operators handle VIP schemes. The Commission is looking to introduce mandatory affordability checks to users joining said schemes and it wants to ban operators from adding customers under the age of 25.

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