UKGC Investigations in a Fatal Case Find Playtech Guilty

28 May 2020

A shocking investigation conducted by the UK Gambling Commission on a player who committed suicide in 2017 after a gambling squabble has finally come to a close. The Gambling Commission’s investigative team discovered that PTES (PT Entertainment Services) fell short in their anti-money laundering, VIP, and social responsibility commitments, failings that ultimately led to the events of that fateful day.

The Playtech subsidiary PTES, which traded under the Titanbet and Winner names, had already relinquished its Gambling Commission-issued license in March last year when official probes into the matter commenced.

According to official reports, the Commission was contacted by the family of the victim, who committed suicide in April 2017, being aged 25. It was unveiled that PTES failed to conduct responsible gambling interactions with the customer, even though the operator was aware that the victim’s debit card transactions had been canceled.

Since 26 December 2016 when the victim allegedly opened his account and having it deactivated after notice of his suicide on 12 April 2017, the player cashed in £148,095 and later withdrew a sum of £114,027, resulting in a loss of £34,068. During the victim’s short-lived gambling stint, the house went ahead and offered him a free gift and the chance to be part of the Winner’s Exclusive VIP club even though one of his debit card deposits had been declined by his bank. Later in December, an internal email showed that the customer had incurred a net loss of £22,000, yet there was no recorded information about his occupation.

The commission also mentioned that if PTES was still using their license, the operator would have been slapped with a £3.5 million fine. On top of that, the regulator is still following up to take action against the customer support individuals as they are directly liable for the victim’s death.

The Gambling Commission also promised that it will be consulting on making permanent changes to how various operators bring in VIP customers. The ombudsman’s CEO Neil McArthur further added that even though PTES had stopped its operations, his team would stop at nothing to see to it that lessons from the tragic event were learned by different operators who didn’t pay attention to gambling regulations.

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