Playtech recognises historic failings

Playtech will make up the fine it would have faced following UKGC report.
Playtech will make up the fine it would have faced following UKGC report.

Playtech pledges to donate £3.5million in recognition of historic failings following Gambling Commission report.

UK.- Following the Gambling Commission’s findings of serious social responsibility failings at subsidiary PT Entertainment Services, Playtech has pledged to donate the £3.5million that PTES would have been fined were it still operating under its UK licence.

The Gambling Commission investigation into the case of a customer who took his own life in 2017 found that Playtech’s PTES, which operated the brands Winner and Titanbet in the UK, had committed serious social responsibility, anti-money laundering and VIP failings.

Publishing its findings this week, the commission said PTES would be facing a fine of £3.5million and other sanctions had it not already surrendered its UK licence. Playtech currently focuses on B2B operations in the UK.

Playtech said it had already donated £619,395 to gambling-related harm charities following the incident and that of the breaches, and pledged to donate more to make up the amount of the fine that PTES would have faced in order to support the Gambling Commission’s work to raise industry standards.

The company said it took action to address PTES’s breaches before the subsidiary ceased operating in order to prevent mistakes from being repeated, and several individuals left the company. It has also said that interim Chairman Claire Milne has carried out a review of the group’s position.

Milne said: “The findings of this investigation do not reflect where Playtech stands today. But while the company has made many positive and important changes, we feel it is only right for us to recognise these historic failings by offering this increased amount.

“In speaking with many of our stakeholders, it was clear they felt the failings were not representative of the Playtech they know. Through this action, we want to send a message to them and the wider industry of who we are today and aspire to be.”

The Gambling Commission has confirmed that Playtech will remain part of its industry working group on responsible game design alongside Scientific Games. It says the company’s first-hand experience of the commission’s enforcement activity means it can offer valuable lessons in raising standards.

The working groups were established in January to develop new standards for safer gambling.

The UK industry association Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), of which Playtech is a member, said the incident was a “horrendous, tragic and deeply sad case,” from which lessons needed to be learned.

The BGC said in a statement: “While this company is no longer in operation, we fully support the actions of the Gambling Commission and believe that Playtech, as the parent company, has made the right decision to pay the expected fine of £3.5million in full and to commit in addition £5million to charities to help further understand the relationship between mental health and online gambling, and to apologise to the family.”

“Player safety is of paramount importance for the BGC and we will continue to work with our members to further improve protection for potentially at risk and vulnerable customers,” it added.

The council highlighted its efforts to better protect players, including complying with the ban on credit card gambling and the launch of a gambling education programme for young people.

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