Ladbrokes is licensed and regulated in the state. It is being accused of failing to limit damage caused by one Gavin Fineff financial advisor who allegedly stole millions from his clients to fund his gambling addiction.
Gambling Addiction Pushes Punter To Extremes
Fineff pleaded guilty to the misusing $8,000,000 of funds which belonged to his friends, family, and customers. The NTRC says that part of this loss could have avoided if Ladbrokes had acted sooner and looked into the source of the money. Fineff was fined $758,510 by the sportsbook and the rest of the money was spent elsewhere, according to the NTRC ruling.
The NTRC found that Ladbrokes had not interacted properly with Fineff right from the beginning, using bonuses rather than investigating where the money was going. “Ladbrokes seems to not have given due attention whether the gambler can afford to gamble at the levels that they are,” reads a February 27th decision of the commission.
NTRC stated that Fineff was “encouraged to gamble” without enough interest from the company. Fineff lost multimillions of dollars, which had a profound impact on his mental and financial well-being as well as the wellbeing of others.
Fineff cannot recover the funds that were entrusted to them. Entain spokesperson stated that they accept the ruling. He added that the period in which the offenses occurred dates back to 2017 as well as 2019, and that Entain will continue to do so.
Entain Australia has accepted the NTRC ruling and has made significant investments to improve its customer protection approach.
Money lost never to be seen
Many people in Australia criticized the company, including Lauren Levin, Financial Counselling Australia director policy and campaigns. She said that Ladbrokes had failed to fulfill its legal and moral obligation to protect customers. Levin criticised the inability of the business to inform Fineff about his condition. This would likely land him a long prison sentence.
Levin was also critical of the situation, arguing that Ladbrokes used an old paradigm of “get as many as you possibly can, as fast as possible.” Levin encouraged the victims to pursue their money. After conducting a thorough investigation, the NTRC imposed a $78,540 penalty.