In response to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) publishing its inquiry into ‘systemic failings’ of the defunct subsidiary PT Entertainment Services (PTES), Playtech will conduct a review of the company position led by Interim Chair Claire Milne.
The FTSE Technology Group Board indicated that it ‘takes full responsibility and apologises for regulatory breaches,’ stressing that the violations in AML and social responsibility do not represent the high expectations set by the Playtech Group.
During the period from May 2015 to September 2017 the UKGC revealed on Wednesday, published damaging investigation findings highlighting systemic player neglect and PTES AML failures.
The UKGC noted that PTES deficiencies had contributed to the death of a 25-year-old unidentified gambling addict whose family had reported PTES prompting inquiry by the Commission. In 2019 PTES, TitanBet’s operating company and Winner.co.uk, withdrew from the UK market.
Milne said: “The findings of this investigation do not reflect where Playtech stands today. But while the company has made many positive and important changes, we feel it is only right for us to recognise these historic failings by offering this increased amount.
“In speaking with many of our stakeholders, it was clear they felt the failings were not representative of the Playtech they know. Through this action, we want to send a message to them and the wider industry of who we are today and aspire to be.
“Raising industry standards on safer gambling and being a leader in responsible business is central to our strategy as a technology partner. In my new role as Interim Chairman, I am fully committed to this continuing to be a key focus of ours going forward.”
Playtech has announced that it will raise the donation to £3.5m, having previously contributed £619,395 in appreciation of PTES’ statutory violations to organisations committed to mitigating gambling-related damage as well as promoting prevention and care.
This matches the figure the regulator deems appropriate in the event that the PTES business was not subsequently closed. The statement noted that the decision to close its subsidiary “was made prior to the commencement of the Gambling Commission’s investigation as part of a strategic decision to focus the group’s efforts on B2B activities in the UK.”
Playtech has now pledged £5m to five main sectors in addition to the raised budget of £3.5m to encourage a greater definition of ‘healthy online living’ and the relationship between mental well-being and internet gaming.
Operating as the leading infrastructure supplier for the igaming market, Playtech outlined additional more protected gambling initiatives introduced through the company’s product development divisions – including the continued extension of BetBuddy, increased investment in safer gambling R&D and the creation of a ‘industry code’ to produce safer gambling products.
Playtech CEO Mor Weizer has added: “We take full responsibility for these regulatory breaches. As a technology specialist, Playtech focuses on harnessing its capabilities in data-driven intelligence to place consumer protection at the centre of every stage of the player experience from game design to real-time engagement and messaging.
“In recent years, we have invested significantly to seek to ensure that these types of breaches do not happen again, including addressing the specific issues raised by the Commission.”