Ladbrokes Elude UKGC Fine Over Problem Gambler Who Stole £1M

Ladbrokes are to avoid a fine from UKGC for telling victims of problem gambler Tony Parente, they would only get compensation if they did not report the crime to regulators.Last year The Guardian published a report detailing how problem gambler Tony Parente and the five victims he stole money from to fuel his habit, to keep quiet and sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), avoiding the UKGC investigation.

Did Not Breach License Conditions

All licensees had been issued guidance by the UKGC regarding the use of NDA’s, Mr Parente was informed by the regulator it, “ was satisfied that the NDA you were signatory of did not breach any of our license conditions or regulatory requirements.”The Guardian’s investigation began last year when Mr Parente had been encourage to continue gambling by Ladbrokes by treating him to thousands of pounds worth of gifts including, tickets to sporting events and business class flights to Dubai where he co-owned a real estate business.

Gambled £60,000 In One Day

In a two-year period, Parente had gambled a colossal amount of money, in one day it reached £60,000, which he later disclosed was stolen from business associates and clients.Ladbrokes who are part of the GVC Holdings group agreed to pay a combined, £975,000 to five victims who had previously raised complaints against the company. Ladbrokes told the five victims they should not “ bring any complaint or make any report to any regulator in relation to the claim” in order to receive their money.

‘UKGC Not Fit For Purpose’

Carolyn Harris, a Labour MP who chairs a cross party parliamentary group on gambling related harm said, the UKGC decision not fine Ladbrokes over the NDA deems the commission not fit for purpose. “ Until we reshape the gambling regulations in this country, the industry will continue to exploit and hold vulnerable gamblers to ransom.”The UKGC responded, “ In this particular instance the full details were reported by the operator and we have since issued them with advice over their conduct over NDA.“ We have also ensured that all future NDAs make clear the parties to the agreement can inform the relevant regulator.”

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