Paddy Power fined over £280,000 for anti-money laundering and KYC failings

Paddy Power has said it will donate £280,000 (US$390,000) to socially responsible causes after a UK Gambling Commission investigation found it to be failing to control money-laundering at its shops, local media reports.

It was found Paddy Power had a “number of serious failings” in relation to how it dealt with three customers.

The first failing detailed by the UKGC involved Paddy Power failing to ascertain the source of funds for one of their customers, who later was revealed to be a problem gambler.

The second failing involved a female customer who was suspected of launder Scottish banknotes, and despite repeated alerts from staff, no actions were taken until six months later when police voiced their own concerns regarding Scottish cash being laundered in London.

The third failing, involved a customer who fraudulently obtained over £250,000 from customers at his bank where he worked in order to fuel his gambling habits. The customer had reportedly “spent a significant amount” on Paddy Power’s remote gambling facilities, other than an initial investigation as to the source of his funding, and being labelled a “medium risk”, the customer was not contacted directly regarding the source of his wealth and obtained no further information from any other source.

On top of the £280,000 contribution to socially responsible causes,Paddy Power has also been charged with a further payment of £27,250 to cover the UKGC’s investigative costs.

Paddy Power has also agreed to improve its anti-money laundering and social responsibility processes following the investigation.

Richard Watson, programme director at the commission, said: “We expect the industry will learn the lessons from this case – it is their duty to keep crime out of gambling and protect vulnerable people from harm. If operators don’t implement processes and policies aimed at doing this then they risk losing their operating licence. Paddy Power failed in its dealing with three customers and is now facing the consequences of these actions in a very public way.”

A Paddy Power Betfair spokesperson said: “The historical failings outlined in this report were clearly unacceptable. Paddy Power has since significantly strengthened its internal procedures and staff have been retrained to ensure these procedures are implemented effectively. Paddy Power Betfair takes its responsibilities extremely seriously and we have co-operated fully with the Gambling Commission at every stage of this process.”