Betting Firm 888 Fined Millions Over Pandemic LossesLast year during the public health crisis, we reported multiple times on how British betting firms were taking the initiative to shelve advertising and be extra vigilant for problem gambling.

However, one firm, 888 Holdings, was fined £9.4 million and could lose its UK license after it failed to ensure its customers could afford some bets during the pandemic. It’s not the first time 888 has been in trouble with the UK Gambling Commission.

What did 888 do or fail to do?

According to the UKGC, 888 failed to protect vulnerable customers who racked up huge losses during the pandemic. As customers stayed at home for months during lockdowns, the UKGC warned that operators should be extra vigilant and should take all necessary measures to protect vulnerable players.

However, 888 failed to do so, or so says the UK Gambling Commission. It hit the operator with the third-largest fine in history; £9.4 million and warned that it could lose its license to operate in the United Kingdom.

The UKGC said that 888 did not carry out financial checks until some customers had deposited £40,000. One customer had lost £37,000 in just six weeks before 888 decided to investigate. In another case, a customer who earned £1,400 a month was given a £1,300 deposit limit per month.

Aside from specific cases, a 2020 audit found that most of the time, 888 contacted customers once by email letting them know about problem gambling helplines and organizations. They did not follow up with questions or further customer interaction.

It’s unclear how losing its UK license if that does occur, would impact 888’s plans to buy William Hill’s UK assets.

Itai Pazner, 888’s chief executive, said We recognise our responsibility to make gambling safer and regret that previous implementation of our processes failed to meet required standards in the UK.”

The importance of responsible gambling when playing live casino games

We’ve repeatedly stated the importance of gambling responsibly when playing live dealer games online. This applies to players as well as operators. When playing roulette, blackjack, baccarat, game shows, or other games with real dealers, please consider whether you can afford to lose the bets you are making.

Gambling should always be a fun pastime and you should never wager money you can’t afford to lose. That’s why we make our best efforts to recommend legit live casinos with solid responsible gambling policies.