Ladbrokes, which is operating in the state as a regulated and licensed entity, is accused of failing to limit the damage by a financial advisor, one Gavin Fineff, who ended up stealing millions of dollars from his clients to fuel his gambling addiction.
Gambling Addiction Pushes Punter to Extremes
Fineff pled guilty and owed up to misusing $8 million of funds that belonged to his family, friends, and customers. According to the NTRC part of this loss could have been avoided should Ladbrokes have acted sooner and investigated the man’s source of money. The ruling by the NTRC specifies that Fineff lost $758,510 to the sportsbook with the rest of the money spent elsewhere.
The NTRC stated that Ladbrokes did not interact properly with Fineff from the very start, using bonuses instead of investigating where the money was coming from. “Ladbrokes appears to have not given due attention to whether the gambler could afford to gamble to the levels that he was,” a decision by the commission dated February 27 read.
NTRC said that Fineff was “encouraged” to continue gambling without sufficient interest from the company to look into whether the person was indeed gambling their own money. As a result, Fineff ended up raking up multimillion-dollar losses which had deep impacts not only on his own financial and mental well-being but also that of others.
All the money has been lost irreversibly as well, with the people who entrusted their financial assets to Fineff unlikely to recover them. Entain spokesperson said that the company accepts the ruling and said that the period of the offenses dates back to 2017 and 2019, and added:
Entain Australia accepts the NTRC ruling, and since these interactions occurred it has invested significantly to strengthen its approach to customer protection.
Money Lost Never to Be Seen
The company was criticized by several parties within the country, including Financial Counselling Australia director of policy and campaigns Lauren Levin who said that Ladbrokes had failed its legal and moral duty to protect the customer. Levin criticized the lack of awareness that the business showed about Fineff’s condition, which would undoubtedly land him a lengthy prison sentence.
Levin was further critical of the situation arguing that Ladbrokes had used an old paradigm described as “get as much as you can, as quickly as you can.” Levin also encouraged the victims of this case to seek their money. The $78,540 fine was imposed after the NTRC conducted a careful investigation into the case.