Gambling firm 888 penalised record £7.8m for failing vulnerable customers

The online betting firm 888 has been penalised a record £7.8m for “outrageous” failings, after more than 7,000 people who had voluntarily banned themselves from gambling were still able to access their accounts.

One customer was allowed to make 850,000 bets worth £1.3m in one year, using money stolen from their employer, prompting calls from the UK’s leading gambling charity and the Labour party for swifter action to address problem gambling.

A week after it emerged that more than 2 million people in the UK are at risk of gambling addiction, industry regulator the Gambling Commission found “significant flaws” in 888’s efforts to protect consumers from harm.

A technical failure in the company’s systems meant customers who had signed up to its self-exclusion scheme were able to deposit £3.5m into their accounts, gambling nearly £51m in deposits and recycled winnings.

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