BetMGM Partner Entain Hit With Largest-Ever UK Fine For RG Failures

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One half of the BetMGM joint venture received the largest fine ever levied in the UK for responsible gambling failures.

Entain will pay a £17 million ($20.5 million) fine for “serious failures,” UK Gambling Commission Chief Executive Andrew Rhodes said in Wednesday’s release:

“There were completely unacceptable anti-money laundering and safer gambling failures. Operators are reminded they must never place commercial considerations over compliance. … They should be aware that we will be monitoring them very carefully and further serious breaches will make the removal of their license to operate a very real possibility. We expect better and consumers deserve better.”

This is the second time the BetMGM partner has been fined for responsible gambling issues in the UK. The previous highest fine was £13 million levied against Caesars in April 2020 for similar issues.

Examples of Entain RG failings

Entain fell short in both the interactive and retail sides of its business. The online failings led to a £14 million fine, while the retail issues cost the company £3 million.

An issue from online was how certain customers could make large deposits without a Source of Funds check. One specific example includes a customer who deposited £186,000 over six months, with total losses of £31,000.

Entain “acknowledged it should have acted sooner when it identified that the customer’s home address was a social housing property.”

Second issue involves timing

Another issue stemmed from a player who gambled overnight into the early morning with more than £230,000 in deposits in 2019 and 2020. Entain referred the customer twice to its safer gambling team with just one chat interaction coming out of it.

This happened after a mistake in November 2018 led to the customer’s account being reopened after it was permanently closed.

No comment from BetMGM on RG standards

LSR reached out to BetMGM following the announcement. A response was not received by publication.

Entain (then GVC) and MGM Resorts announced their intentions of a 50/50 joint venture in July 2018. At the time, it was clear Entain was seen as the power behind the online side of the business:

“MGM Resorts is a world leading entertainment business and the most trusted name in gaming, with the highest quality brands and management, and strong sports connectivity,” said GVC CEO Kenny Alexander. “This combined with GVC’s technology and experience in successfully building online gaming businesses across multiple markets presents a truly exciting opportunity for U.S. players and our respective shareholders.”

MGM previously explored a takeover bid of Entain. The UK company rejected an $11 billion bid in January 2021. Later that year, DraftKings entered talks on an Entain purchase that ultimately fizzled in October 2021.