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Betfred fined almost £2.9m over gambling safety and money laundering failings

Gambling giant Betfred has been fined almost £2.9 million over social responsibility and money laundering failings, the gambling watchdog has announced.

The Gambling Commission said it has penalised the bookmaker over “alarming” failures.

These include one customer being allowed to lose £70,000 in a 10-hour period just a day after opening an account due to a lack of controls related to rapid spending by new customers, the commission said.

It also criticised Betfred for setting safer gambling interaction triggers “too high”, meaning that reviewing accounts in relation to safer gambling did not happen in a “timely manner”.

The watchdog said one customer was first contacted when they deposited £20,700 and lost £10,200, but the next interaction did not occur until four months later when the customer had deposited £323,715 and lost £69,371.

Flaws were also found in the company’s controls to prevent money laundering, the commission said.

Leanne Oxley, Gambling Commission director of enforcement and intelligence, said: “This is a further example of us taking action to investigate and sanction alarming failures.

“We expect this gambling business and all other licensees to review this case and look closely to see if they need to make further improvements to demonstrate active compliance.

“Where standards do not improve, tougher enforcement will follow.”

A Betfred spokesman said: “We will work with the UK Gambling Commission and continually review all our anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies.

“During our assessment, the commission found no evidence of criminal activity. We remain committed to providing a safer gambling environment for our customers.”