London casino fined £650,000 after players’ suicide

Apsers failed to adhere to its social responsibility code.
Apsers failed to adhere to its social responsibility code.

Aspers Casino in Stratford was fined after a Gambling Commission investigation of social responsibility failings. 

UK.- Aspers Casino in Stratford, London, has been fined £650,000 by the Gambling Commission after an investigation revealed social responsibility failings.

The casino will also relinquish £78,233 in gross gambling yield.

The Gambling Commission began an investigation after a 37-year-old customer killed himself the same night that he lost £25,000 playing roulette and slot machines.

The VIP customer was found hanged at his home in Hackney in November 2018 after being escorted from the casino by police following an argument with staff.

The investigation found that he had previously incurred gambling losses of around £100,000.

Social responsibility failings

The Gambling Commission said that Aspers had failed to adhere to its obligations under its social responsibility code to identify customers whose behaviour might indicate a gambling problem.

It also criticised the casino’s monitoring of cash purchases and found failures in record keeping. It concluded that the casino had a “misguided assumption” that the customer could afford his losses.

See also: British regulator creates permanent panel on gambling harm

The casino had failed to make any inquiries when the customer spent £46,000 and £51,000 over two days in September 2017.

It also allowed the customer to go over its £5,000 limit on three other visits when he played on electronic roulette.

See also: British regulator launches new consultation on customer interaction

The Gambling Commission noted that Aspers had carried out its own investigation and had attempted to rectify its failings.

It originally ordered the casino to pay a fine of £1.8m but reduced the sum to £652,00 after the operator made representations regarding its financial situation due to the impact of the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown.

A spokesperson for Aspers said: “We cooperated fully with the Gambling Commission’s investigation into this tragic event and accept the Commission’s findings and sanction.

“We acknowledge that our policies, procedures and controls at the time could have been better in some important respects and that there were weaknesses and shortcomings in relation to their effective implementation.

“Following an immediate internal review in 2018 and extensive dialogue with the Commission and other public authorities, these have been fully addressed.”

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