LeoVegas under investigation for targeting problem gambler

  • Updated
  • By Amy McDonnell
LeoVegas Under Investigation

LeoVegas is currently under investigation by the UK Gambling Commission after ‘bombarding’ a problem gambler with marketing emails. 

The player’s LeoVegas account was locked in May 2018, after a customer service employee flagged two ‘concerning’ communications with the player. The suspension came just three days after LeoVegas was ordered to pay over £600,000 to the UK Gambling Commission for failing to protect vulnerable gamblers. 

Despite this ban, sister websites including Pink Casino and Castle Jackpot continued to send up to four promotional emails a day to the player offering free spins and cash bonuses. 

According to reports, in January 2019, the recovering addict opened a new account with 21.co.uk, an online casino part of the Leo Gaming group, registered his mother’s debit card without her permission and spent around £20,000 before the operator requested verification documents.

The new account was eventually blocked after they discovered the card didn’t belong to the player who could now face prosecution for his actions. 

What’s even more concerning is that after this incident, more sister companies in the Leo Gaming group continued sending the player marketing emails offering refunds on losses.

The case has highlighted the need for reform around the identification process at online casinos. Currently, operators aren’t required to ask for affordability documents before a customer plays at its site, and some identification documents are only requested after a player withdraws money for the first time. 

However, new LCCP regulations are set to come in on May 7th 2019 which will require all operators to perform Know Your Customer (KYC) checks before a player can deposit or play any free games. This new rule is designed to protect vulnerable players including under 18s and problem gamblers

A Gambling Commission spokesman said:

“We are absolutely clear with operators about the rules that they must follow to prevent and protect their customers from experiencing harm from gambling.

Where we see evidence that those rules are not being followed, we will investigate.”