Playtech to pay £3.5 million after taking 'full responsibility' for failures
Gambling technology company Playtech has said it will pay £3.5 million to charities tackling gambling-related harm and has taken "full responsibility" for the failures which led to a customer taking his own life.
On Wednesday the Gambling Commission revealed the details of an investigation into PT Entertainment Services (PTES), a subsidiary of Playtech that ran Titanbet and Winner, which began after the regulator was contacted by the family of Chris Bruney who had died in April 2017, aged 25.
The commission found that the operator failed to carry out any checks on Bruney, even though it was aware that several of his debit card transactions had been declined.
He was also provided with VIP status without verifying he could afford to spend the amounts of money he was playing with.
Between December 26 2016 and April 2017, Bruney bet a total of £4,458,782 and in the period between April 1 and 5 2017 he deposited and lost £119,395.
PTES would have faced a financial penalty of £3.5m from the commission but was closed down during the investigation.
Playtech has now promised to donate that sum to problem gambling charities, in addition to committing to donate a total of £5m to mental health and gambling-related harm charities over the next five years.
Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer said: "We take full responsibility for these regulatory breaches."
He added: "In recent years, we have invested significantly to seek to ensure that these types of breaches do not happen again, including addressing the specific issues raised by the commission."
Playtech's interim chairman Claire Milne will be contacting the Bruney family to apologise personally.
She said: "The findings of this investigation do not reflect where Playtech stands today. But while the company has made many positive and important changes, we feel it is only right for us to recognise these historic failings by offering this increased amount.
"In speaking with many of our stakeholders, it was clear they felt the failings were not representative of the Playtech they know. Through this action, we want to send a message to them and the wider industry of who we are today and aspire to be."
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