Ladbrokes Coral hit by £2.3m penalty over rogue bets

Gambling watchdog says bookmaker failed to stop two problem gamblers losing £1.3m in stolen money despite warnings to toughen up controls

Ladbrokes Coral has been ordered to pay £2.3m by the gambling regulator for failing to intervene after two problem gamblers lost £1.3m of stolen money on its casino website.

Days after a government review warned online gambling firms to tighten up controls or face tougher legislation, the Gambling Commission said it found “significant flaws” in the bookmaker’s dealings with two “high-spending” customers.

An “aggravating factor” was that Gala Coral, which merged with Ladbrokes last year, had previously vowed to identify similar cases much sooner, after being hit with an £880,000 penalty in April last year.

The commission said the firm’s Gibraltar-based casino website Gala Interactive should have spotted signs of addiction in two unnamed gamblers, and had also failed to put in place written policies and procedures that could have curbed their behaviour. One of the gamblers lost £837,545 over 14 months while the other lost £432,765 in 11 months, both of them using stolen money.

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