Rank Group Fined $650,000 for Failing to Protect VIP Gamer

The United Kingdom is like most countries when it comes to gambling. It has provisions in place for casinos to allow gamblers to exclude themselves if they feel they have a problem. In most countries, the self-exclusion clause is voluntary. There is no guarantee the gambler who may have a problem won’t re-enter the casino on his or her own. And, casinos can’t really do anything if self-excluded gamblers decide to return and gamble. A U.K. casino received a fine of more than $650,000 from the U.K. Gambling Commission. The commission said the establishment crossed the line with regard to the self-exclusion law and a gambler at a casino.

Grosvenor Casinos

Grosvenor CasinosGrosvenor Casinos owns 55 establishments in the United Kingdom. They are all different sizes. The largest of the Grosvenor casinos is in London. In addition, the gambling company also operates an online casino. The casino group sees approximately $500 million in annual revenue. Approximately 1.7 million customers make about 8.5 million visits per year to its land-based casinos. The company’s online casino receives more than twice as many customers as its land-based casinos. The online casino offers more than 250 different casino games. Traditional games, such as roulette, blackjack, and poker, are popular. The casino also offers other games online, including video poker, different kinds of slot machines, and pai gow poker. It has other poker offerings as well.

Grosvenor Casinos was among the first in the world to offer live streaming of poker events and allowed people to place in-game bets.

The Problem Gambler

At the Grosvenor casino in the London suburb of Mayfair, there was a gentleman who was a VIP high roller. He gambled at the casino frequently, flying in on junkets to gamble. However, the casino did not spot a problem with the gambler at all. That is until he decided to self-exclude from the casino in 2016. The player stated that he felt he was having a problem controlling his gaming despite his wealth. He requested that the casino exclude him from playing for six months.

During the man’s exclusion period, the manager of the Grosvenor casino visited his home overseas. This is part of the manager’s annual networking visits to high rollers. The casino believes high rollers with money don’t have a gambling problem because they’re wealthy enough to cover their losses. At the time of the visit, the manager asked that the customer’s exclusion period end. But The Rank Group, the company that owns the Grosvenor Casinos, refused because the customer did not initiate the request.

In 2017, The Rank Group gave the customer credit of more than $1.2 million. The man was still in his exclusion period. The gambler managed to lose all the money in one 24-hour period. At that time, the company placed the customer in an enforced break, which meant it banned him from both the online and on-site casino.

The Punishment

lawsuitThe U.K. Gambling Commission fined The Rank Group more than $650,000 for breaching the law of self-exclusion. The investigation found that Grosvenor Casinos should not have interacted with the customer during his period of self-exclusion. In addition, the commission found that the company should not have given the gambler any credit. The company should never give an online casino gambler credit, even if there was no self-exclusion.

The commission noted just because the man had a lot of money didn’t mean he didn’t have a gambling problem. It said it did not issue a larger fine because the casino excluded him for a longer period of time.

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Jean Carter is from Oakland, California and studied jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, California. After graduation, and pining for a warmer climate, Jean relocated to the Tule Springs suburb of Las Vegas, where she owns and operates her own online jewelry boutique incorporating traditional native American styles with her own unique designs. A true fan of the sophistication and glamor of Las Vegas casino life, Jean is also a freelance blogger specializing in all things suave and fashionable surrounding the casino lifestyle.