Betfred Owners Fined £322k For Anti Money Laundering Failures

Bookmaker Betfreds Gibraltar-based owners have been hit with a £322,000 penalty after failing to do adequate checks on a customer who deposited £210,000 of stolen money and lost two-thirds of it within 12 days…

By: Andrew Burnett

An investigation by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) discovered that Petfre Limited, who trade as Betfred, did not apply the appropriate scrutiny in the 2017 case of a gambler who lost £140,000 in less than two weeks.

The deposited funds, totalling £210,000, were in fact stolen – similar to an earlier case that saw Betfred fined £800,000 after a VIP player embezzled, then gambled, massive sums while working as an accountant.

This week the UKGC, the regulatory body for gambling, released a statement censuring the bookmaker: "A customer being able to deposit and lose such significant amounts in such a short period of time clearly indicated failings in the effectiveness of Petfre's anti-money laundering policies and procedures."

Petfre’s penalty package, totalling £322,000, consists of £140,000 to be repaid to the victim of the gambler’s theft, a £182,000 fine, and £15,168 in UKGC investigation costs.

The previous case saw Betfred ordered to pay £443,000 to victims of convicted thief Matthew Stevens, as well as £344,500 to socially responsible causes.

Stevens defrauded businessman Mahmood Mahzar out of £850,000 over 13 months, then spent the majority of it on Betfred, the fraudster treated to free bets and VIP days out by the company.

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