UK regulator to probe Ladbrokes Sports over promotional player profiling?
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been on the warpath for well over a year now, seeking out any remote gaming operator that may be in violation of the region’s strict online gambling regulations. If the UKGC gets wind of inappropriate behavior, it will investigate, and if non-complaince is discovered, the result could be anything from a hefty fine to revocation of the company’s operating license.
Stripping a license seems like an empty threat at this point, seeing as how the UKGC has never gone so far as to even temporarily suspend a license, regardless of the severity of any violation. These operators are their bread and butter, after all. Why eliminate your revenue source when you could fine it up to 7-figures? But I digress…
According to the most recent reports, one of the British gaming regulators’ largest repeat offenders, Ladbrokes Coral, is at it again. The company denies any wrong doing, of course, stating that it no longer operates in the manner it’s being accused of. But we shall see, as the Commission prepares to open yet another investigation into one of the region’s oldest and largest bookmakers.
Ladbrokes Sportsbooks Accused of Bet Rigging and Player Profiling
A report earlier this week in The Daily Record notes the allegations of gamblers who accuse Ladbrokes of “profiling punters” and “rigging bets”. The entry claims Ladbrokes encourages “unsuccessful gamblers to stake more” than intended by offering them special promotions that winning bettors are not privvy to.
The claims go on to allege Ladbrokes software is rigged to make it more difficult for statistically better gamblers to place the bets they want.
The report suggests punters who lose most of their bets are rated and encouraged, through free bets and other exclusive promotions, to wager up to 5x more than they intended, while punters who win more often may be conversely rated and restricted to wagering as little as 10p per bet.
These types of player profiling are in direct violation of UKGC regulations, and could prompt the latest in a long strain of investigations against the London-based bookmaker. Surely regulators will want to take a closer look at the guilt-ridden “leaked documents” obtained and published by The Daily Record.
Ladbrokes Cries Old News – Waves Off Allegations
In response to the allegations, Ladbrokes issued a statements saying the documents in question were too old to be relevant (dating back to 2014, just before UK licensing requirements went into effect), and that they didn’t even belong to Ladbrokes, but rather some unnamed third party, potential business partner.
“The document you have been given is five years old and was a business spec for a third party that Ladbrokes was in conversation with at the time,” said a spokesperson for the London bookmaker. “It does not have any relevance to our current trading platform.”
Ladbrokes defends its business practices, saying that of its more than one million customers, 99% of all bets are placed according to the punter’s request.
“A minority of customers experience restrictions on certain bets for risk management purposes,” the spokesperson explains, going on to justify its current “stake factoring” practices as a “standard risk management approach used by the majority of betting operations.”