Betting firm fined £3.8million for letting NHS nurse gamble £245,000 life savings

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An online casino has been fined £3.8million for failures including letting an NHS nurse gamble away her life savings of £245,000.

The Gambling Commission regulator handed out the fine to Malta-based Genesis Global for failing its “social responsibility” and not doing enough to prevent possible money laundering.

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Genesis runs 14 websites including genesiscasino.com, casinoplanet.com and casinocruise.com.

The Commission said it saw one case where Genesis allowed an NHS nurse on a salary of £30,000 a year to gamble away £245,000 in just three months.

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The firm did not try to put any restrictions in place for the nurse.

Another customer lost £234,000 in six weeks, but Genesis had not checked their financial circumstances or carried out “any meaningful responsible gambling interactions”, the Commission said.

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Yet another customer lost £197,000 over six months, then closed her account, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family.

Betting firm fined £3.8million for letting NHS nurse gamble £245,000 life savings
© Getty Images Man browses an online website.

Despite this, Genesis allowed her to open another account with £200.

The Gambling Commission briefly suspended the company’s licence for three months last year but the lifted it after seeing improvements by the firm.

But now it has slapped the firm with a £3.8million fine and said it needs to pass more audits to keep its gambling licence.

Gambling Commission executive director Helen Venn said: “All gambling businesses should pay very close attention to this case.

“The commission will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety and that extends to stopping a business from actually operating.”

The Commission added that Genesis also carried out money-laundering failures including letting a customer deposit more than £1.3million and lose £600,000 before checking where any of the cash came from.

The customer then gave Genesis a bank statement which showed deposits of £23,000 and payments out of £27,000 – clearly not enough to support the level of gambling being done.

In another example, a customer had lost £209,000 before Genesis asked them where all their cash was coming from.

Before that point Genesis had apparently trusted the customer’s word they they earned £111,000 a year because “this was the average salary of directors in London”.

The company turned out to be dormant.

Genesis has been approached for comment.

Earlier this week The Mirror reported how a gambling addict who blew his entire student loan within 24 hours of receiving it says rehab saved him.

Recovered Bray Ash, 28, says he now knows how others can avoid falling into the same trap.

Ash, who began playing fruit machines when he was a child, when went on to lose £40,000 betting mostly on horse races, dogs, tennis, darts and basketball.

The football fan says the day his life totally turned around was when he fronted up and asked for help.

Now recovered Bray is a member of the Gambling Commission’s Lived Experience Advisory Panel.

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