Anger as boss of Britain's largest betting firm downplays the UK's gambling crisis

Mail Online | 8/1/2019 | Tom Witherow For The Daily Mail
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His company was fined £5.9million this week for failing to protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

But today the Daily Mail can reveal the boss of Britain's largest betting firm has been downplaying the country's gambling addiction crisis, saying there are 'far bigger social issues'.

Kenny - Alexander - Executive - Ladbrokes - Coral

Kenny Alexander, chief executive of Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC, told the Mail two months ago it was his 'biggest frustration' that the firm still faced criticism over problem gambling.

And last night furious MPs condemned the boss's comments, saying they were typical of the industry's 'arrogance'.

Wednesday - GVC - Fines - Industry - Regulator

On Wednesday GVC was hit with one of the biggest ever fines handed down by industry regulator, the Gambling Commission, for 'systemic failings' in protecting customers and preventing money laundering.

The £5.9million fine equates to not even a third of the £19.1million pay packet Mr Alexander took home last year and is just 1 per cent of GVC's £520million annual operating profit.

Regulator - Investigation - GVC - Addict - £1

The regulator recorded in its investigation that GVC had allowed one addict to blow £1.5million on bets, some of which may have been stolen.

In another case, a Ladbrokes customer lost £98,000 even though they had 460 attempted deposits into their gambling account declined.

GVC - Failings - Place - Firm - Ladbrokes

GVC said the 'unacceptable' failings took place before the firm acquired Ladbrokes and Coral in 2018, and bosses had since carried out a systematic review of player protection.

But Mr Alexander had earlier told the Mail he was 'frustrated' by the criticism directed at his firm. He said: 'I think there are far bigger social issues in the UK than problem gambling, that is my biggest frustration.

GVC - Industry - Customers - Strides - Years

'There is more GVC can do but fundamentally the industry is doing well at looking after its customers, and it has certainly made great strides in the last two years.'

MPs lined up to criticise...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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