Online betting firm 888 has responded to its record £7.8 million fine from the gambling watchdog with an audacious ‘double or quits’ offer.
Despite being hauled up in front of industry regulator the Gambling Commission for “significant flaws” in its efforts to protect consumers from harm, the online gambling firm has already tried to get the fine rescinded by playing a high stakes game of black jack whilst offering to pay £16 million in total if they lose.
888’s Head of Gambling Addiction Mr. Ivor Problem said, “As I’m sure you’ll agree, £7.8 million is a heck of a lot of money to pay out for simply encouraging people who clearly need help, to ruin their lives by allowing them to continue gambling even when they’ve tried to self-exclude themselves from our websites. It would be very hypocritical of us if we didn’t at least try to win some of the money back to demonstrate that as a company, we’re prepared to deal with our problems in the same way that we expect our customers to.”
A technical glitch in 888’s computer systems meant that customers who had signed up to its self-exclusion scheme were able to deposit £3.5 million into their accounts, gambling almost £51 million in deposits and winnings – although it’s unclear at this point whether the ‘problem’ was simply the result of a software engineer being told not to stop people depositing and gambling money after self-excluding themselves.
The Gambling Commission decided that 888 had failed to spot the “visible signs of problem gambling” displayed by one customer who spent £1.3 million over a 13-month period, placing an average 2,150 bets every day and stated on record that it’s a bit like failing to spot the huge great woolly mammoth standing in your living room that has just shat all over your brand new Axminster rug.
“We had a bit of bad luck getting hit with a record £8 million fine, but the worst thing you can do is to quit when the chips are down. We’ve been in the gambling game since 1997 so we know when a hot streak is on the way,” Mr. Problem added.