Rank Group Fined Over Protection Failures

By Ben Hamill - October 16 2018
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Rank Group Fined Over Protection Failures

The Rank Group multi-platform gambling company has just been hit with a £500,000 (approx. $854,993) fine after being found guilty of breaching problem gambling rules. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission issued the punishment.

Customer Showed Problem Behavior

The fine came after a customer was credited £1 million, and bet “substantial amount” at the land-based and online Grosvenor Casinos, which re-owned by the Rank Group. The playing took place over a period of 24 hours, during which the entire million Pounds was lost.

In light of the fact that the United Kingdom Gambling Commission has pledged to address problem gambling and improve standards across the sector, the regulator had to take action immediate, effective action.

Gambling Commission Findings

The Commission launched its own investigation, which found that the Rank Group failed to interact with the player after they began displaying problem gambling behavior. The company also contacted the customer during a self-exclusion period.

The Rank Group was thus not complying with Gambling Commission stipulations on the action to take if problematic behavior is seen, what to do when self-exclusion is imposed, and the specific rules concerning credit provision.

Commission Comments

Executive Director of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Richard Watson, said that the organisation expected all operators to protect consumers who might be experiencing issues with gambling behavior.

Watson added that it was important for brands to avoid falling into the trap of assuming VIP players could not experience such difficulties. No matter how wealthy an individual is, he added, casinos are still expected to monitor them and ensure no signs of problem gambling are exhibited. He finished by saying that contacting customers during the time they have self-excluded themselves is definitely not approved.

Immediate Response from Rank Group

Watson did also say that the Rank Group’s immediate response deserved praise. The penalty that the Commission issued would have been much higher if the response had not been so swift and positive, he commented. The company acted very quickly in reporting what had happened, and were very open and transparent during the investigation procedures.

However, even with the lower amount, the fine comes as a further blow to Rank Group. The Group is a little battle-scarred after announcing a year-on-year drop in operating profit. In August they released figures that showed the profit dropped to £20.9m in 2017. The growth of revenue had also slowed, to 9.9%, from 15% during the previous financial year.

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