After an inquiry found social responsibility failings, Aspers Casino in Stratford, London, was fined £ 650,000 by the Gambling Commission and required to offer up £ 78,233 in gross return on gambling.
On the same night that he lost £ 25,000 playing roulette and slot machines, the Gambling Commission started an investigation after a 37-year-old customer killed himself.
After being escorted from the casino by police following an altercation with workers, the VIP customer was found hanging at his home in Hackney in November 2018.
The inquiry found that he had already suffered about £ 100,000 in gambling losses.
Social responsibility failings
The Gambling Commission reported that, under its social responsibility code, Aspers had failed to comply with its obligations to recognise customers whose behaviour could suggest a gambling issue.
Shortcomings in record keeping
It also questioned the tracking of cash transactions by the casino and discovered shortcomings in record keeping. It concluded that there was a “misguided assumption” by the casino that the client could afford his losses.
When the client invested £ 46,000 and £ 51,000 over two days in September 2017, the casino refused to make any enquiries.
It also allowed the customer, when he played on electronic roulette, to go over its £ 5,000 limit on three other visits.
Remedying its shortcomings
The Gambling Commission noted that its own investigation had been carried out by Aspers and had tried to remedy its shortcomings.
Originally, after the operator made representations about its financial condition due to the effects of the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown, it ordered the casino to pay a fine of £ 1.8m but reduced the amount to £ 652,00.
An Aspers spokesperson said: “We cooperated fully with the Gambling Commission’s investigation into this tragic event and accept the Commission’s findings and sanction.
“We acknowledge that our policies, procedures and controls at the time could have been better in some important respects and that there were weaknesses and shortcomings in relation to their effective implementation.
“Following an immediate internal review in 2018 and extensive dialogue with the Commission and other public authorities, these have been fully addressed.”