LeoVegas ordered to pay penalty fine after failing vulnerable gamblers

  • Updated
  • By Amy McDonnell
LeoVegas penalty

The Gambling Commission has announced that online gambling operator LeoVegas has been ordered to pay a fine of £627,000 relating to misleading advertising and the handling of customers at the end of their self-exclusion period.

According to the report, LeoVegas did not “take all reasonable steps” to stop people who had self-excluded from gambling.

During its investigation, the Commission found that LeoVegas:

  • Was responsible for 41 misleading adverts
  • Failed to return funds to 11,205 customers when they chose to self-exclude and close their account
  • Sent marketing material to 1,894 people who had previously self-excluded
  • Allowed 413 previously self-excluded customers to gamble without speaking to those customers first or applying a 24-hour cooling off period before allowing them to gamble.

Neil McArthur, the Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive said: “The outcome of this case should leave no one in any doubt that we will be tough with licence holders who mislead consumers or fail to meet the standards we set in our licence conditions and codes of practice.

We want operators to learn the lessons from our investigations and use those lessons to raise standards. ”

When a customer chooses to self-exclude from a website, they are not to be contacted under any circumstances. This includes promotional material such as offer emails, texts or letters.

Once a self-exclusion period comes to an end, a gambling operator cannot reopen your account without you actively contacting customer support.

LeoVegas said it had "high ambitions for compliance with laws and regulations" and had continuously improved its procedures and processes.

"We have had discussions with the UK Gambling Commission, UKGC, on suspected cases of breaches of the British gaming rules. A clear majority of cases are attributable to affiliate marketing.

"It's good that UKGC puts increased demands on us in the gaming industry. It is an advantage for serious actors who both have the will and ambition to work in a regulated market."