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UK Gambling Commission Issues Penalty to LeoVegas for Marketing and Advertising Failings
- May 2, 2018 By Oliver Young -
Still strongly dedicated to creating a safer and fairer online gambling environment for UK consumers, the UK Gambling Commission has now issued a penalty to LeoVegas for marketing and advertising failings. Misleading advertising as well as bad handling of users after the expiration of their self-exclusion period are provided as reasons for the fine.
On behalf on the Gambling Commission commented Neil McArthur, UKGC’s chief executive. He pointed out that this outcome should clarify to every person in the industry that the UKGC would be very tought with licensees that “mislead consumers or fail to meet the standards” set in the license conditions as well as in the codes of practice. Moreover, McArthur expressed hopes that UK gambling operators would learn lessons from all such investigation and consequently raise their operating standards.
After a thorough investigation and review of the license of LeoVegas, the UKGC has came to the conclusion that the operator shall pay a penalty in the amount of £600,000. Additionally, the penalty includes divesting of any funds generated as a result from the operator’s failings. Finally, LeoVegas is also expected to cover the UKGC’s costs.
Investigation Revealed 41 Misleading Advertisements
In the LeoVegas Gaming Ltd public statement found on the UKGC’s website, four points with information were provided. Namely, in regard to marketing, it was highlighted that such communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Moreover, the operators have responsibility for third parties. When it comes to self-exclusion, operators must prevent self-excluded users from gambling as well as to return funds to such customers.
Therefore, in the executive summary, the commission has listed all the breaches LeoVegas has made in terms of marketing and self-exclusion. First on the list are the 41 website advertisements published either by the operator or their affiliates that were misleading for consumers; namely, these failed to provide significant offer limitations and/or failing to highlight such limitations clearly.
Additional breaches are noted in the segment of self-exclusion. It turns out that 11,205 self-excluded users of LeoVegas never got their balance funds back after the account closure. Furthermore, 1,894 users started receiving marketing material from the operator once their self-exclusion period was over even though they have never agreed to any of that. Finally, 413 of such self-excluded consumers were able to enter their LeoVegas accounts and gamble after the expiration of the self-exclusion period.
UKGC Works Actively Ever Since the Beginning of the Year
This latest penalty issued by the UKGC is far from surprising as the authority has been working hard ever since the beginning of the year. Namely, in January, 2018, the commission warned that five operators are facing license removal. At the time, the authority issued warnings to 17 companies and ever since has been constantly reminding operators that their operating standards must be improved. As soon as February, 2018, William Hill has been hit with a huge £6.2 million fine.