New Revelations in a Gambling Addict Suicide Case

New Revelations in a Gambling Addict Suicide Case

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) concluded after an 18-month-long investigation that systemic failings in social responsibility and anti-money laundering measures were responsible for the death of a 25-year-old gambler.

Systemic failures led to the death

The 25-year-old Sheffield gambler Chris Bruney lost £119,000 in just five days while gambling at winner.co.uk. He later committed suicide. The entire series of events occurred in April 2017 when the electrician was offering cash bonuses and free bets by the VIP manager of the online gambling site. The manager failed to do any income checks on Bruney. The winner is a subsidiary of Playtech and surrendered its operating license while the investigation was ongoing.

New Revelations in a Gambling Addict Suicide Case

Bruney’s family urged the UKGC to investigate the matter. According to the investigation, Bruney opened an account with winner.co.uk on Boxing Day 2016. Several of his transactions were declined but he was ultimately able to deposit £18,700 over a period of two days.

On December 28, the VIP manager offered him a free Apple watch. Bruney said,

“I find it really welcoming you getting me this gift, none of the other sites I use have done this for me considering I wager much more with them.”

PTES was aware that Bruney was losing more money at other gambling sites and had not done a thorough income check as well. It still kept sending him promotional emails that invited him to spend more money on jackpots etc. He would receive more free promotions for spending more money. The website deposited a £500 bonus to his account hours before his death.

The magnitude of loss

In the five days leading up to his death, Bruney had lost a total of £119,395 and earned £2,160 in the form of bonuses. The UKGC said that the gambling website failed to create systemic methods for player protection. The company carried out a customer assessment but didn’t have a formal risk assessment system in place. This also means that the company didn’t have proper measures and procedures to control money laundering and terrorism financing.

There was a lack of a specific social responsibility provision for VIP customers of the site. They only offered help to players who had been playing for anywhere between two and six months. Other players, who left for short periods, were left vulnerable. The UKGC could have imposed fines of around £3.5 million on the company. However, it will not be able to do so because it has surrendered its operating license.

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About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.

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