Wednesday 2. March, 2016

Sportsbet Owner Paddy Power Slammed by UK Watchdog

Paddy Power, Irish wagering company and owner of the Australian bookmaker Sportsbet, has been slammed by the UK Gambling Commission for a “number of serious failings” in its anti money laundering and social responsibility processes.

Paddy Power admitted to anti money laundering failures, specifically with regards to its dealings with three customers, one of whom was convicted of criminal offences during a wide investigation into the company.

“We expect the industry will learn the lessons from this case – it is their duty to keep crime out of gambling and protect vulnerable people from harm,” stated Richard Watson, the commission’s program director.

“If operators don’t implement processes and policies aimed at doing this then they risk losing their operating license.”

Paddy Power has acknowledged that the failings outlined in the investigation report were “clearly unacceptable” and they have agreed to contribute £280,000 – the amount the company earned in profits from the three customers – to socially responsible causes following the outcome of the investigation. They are also ordered to pay £27,250 to cover the costs of the investigation.

The company has owned Australian bookmaker, Sportsbet, since 2011. It has not been confirmed or denied whether the Australian financial regulator – The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) will investigate Sportsbet due to the findings of the UK investigation.

Last year, Tabcorp was investigated by Austrac and in July, legal proceedings were started against them for failing to comply with anti money laundering processes. According to CEO of Austrac, Paul Jevtovic, failure to comply with the processes threatened the integrity of the financial system in Australia by providing opportunities for organised crime. At the time, they undertook a comprehensive assessment of Tabcorp and their compliance of anti money laundering and counter-terrorism provisions.

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