Ladbrokes and by default their owners GVC Holdings have escaped a financial sanction from the UK Gambling Commission, in relation to a case last year which came under investigation by the UKGC. The case in question concerned victims of several thefts by a customer of Ladbrokes, whereby they told that they would only be compensated if they signed an NDA ( Non Disclosure Agreement ).
Last year the Gambling Commission started investigating the issue surrounding gambling addict Tony Parente, a customer of Ladbrokes, who stole monies from several people, amounting to nearly £1m.
Ladbrokes received complaints from five of Parente’s victims and the high street bookmaker agreed to pay them back £975,000. However, in doing so Ladbrokes according to the Guardian newspaper, ‘demanded’ that no complaint concerning the issue was to be brought to the regulator’s attention.
According to Saturday’s Guardian newspaper, the Gambling Commission have decided to not take any action against Ladbrokes and their owner GVC Holdings, in light of the above. With the UKGC writing to Parente clarifying their position on this issue, stating that they were: “Satisfied that the NDA you were signatory of did not breach any of our licence conditions or regulatory requirements.”
However, the decision by the UKGC not to take action against Ladbrokes on this matter has not escaped criticism, with Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs Parliament’s cross party group on gambling related harm, commenting: “Until we reshape the gambling regulations in this country, the industry will continue to exploit and hold vulnerable gamblers to ransom.”
With Harris also going on to state that the UKGC was: “Complicit in what is actually abuse, of power and of individuals.”
A spokesperson for the UKGC said of this case: “In this particular instance the full details were reported by the operator and we have since issued them with advice over their conduct regarding NDAs. We have also ensured that all future NDAs make clear that parties to the agreement can inform the relevant regulator.”