Details of the incident
Online casino operator LeoVegas is under investigation by the UK’s Gambling Commission. Reportedly, a problem gambler was allowed to play at the site after using his mother’s debit card to fund a new online gaming account to the tune of €23,184 ($26,228). After the investigation was made public, politicians and others called for measures to ensure customers are vetted properly before bets are allowed to be placed online.
The problem gambler is reportedly a recovering addict who is in treatment. The gambler had his LeoVegas account locked in May of 2018 when customer support intervened. Support decided to flag his account after communication in a live web chat was deemed “concerning.”
Even though the gambler’s account was locked, he still received marketing emails from other sites in the LeoVegas group. Castle Jackpot and Pink Casino were found to have sent emails offering bonuses and free spin information.
In January of this year, the gambler decided to create a new account. He visited 21.co.uk and signed up with the same name and email address. However, this time, he used his mother’s stolen debit card to fund the account. He gambled away about €23,184 before he was caught.
ID verification was requested, and it was discovered that he was using someone else’s debit card. The gambler’s account was locked again. Despite the second shutdown, sister sites of the Leo Gaming group continued to send marketing emails to the player.
Pushing for Tighter Restrictions
The case involving the problem gambler comes at a time when the government is considering stricter regulations involving online betting. Thought is being given to strengthening ID checks and possibly preventing gamblers from placing wagers via credit.
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson said: “It makes no sense for gambling companies to be doing ID and affordability checks after gamblers have lost huge sums rather than before they’ve placed the bets. The whole system seems the wrong way round. We also need to see immediate action to scrap credit card betting and end the practice of bombarding gambling addicts with gambling ads.”
The Gambling Commission has responded by saying that they are clear with operators about the rules that must be followed to prevent as well as protect customers from harm while gambling. The commission pointed out that when they see evidence that the rules are not being followed, they will investigate.
According to The Guardian, the Gambling Commission has obtained evidence about the case and is reviewing it to determine whether LeoVegas was in breach of its license conditions to operate gambling services in the UK.