Problem Gambler Loses $539K, BetEasy Receives a $40,200 Fine by Watchdog

The Northern Territory Racing Commission released a decision regarding issues with a problem gambler that was able to start betting again. The case dates back to 2019 but a decision on the matter was released last week.

Problem Gambler Loses $539K, Seeks to Recover Them from Operator

The person involved in the situation was referred to as the Gambler. Although he was identified as a problem gambler, according to the Commission, he was allowed to open an account under his wife’s name. He was provided free bets but ultimately lost thousands of dollars.

After the Gambler lost $539,000 (AU$719,350), he and the Account Holder, which was his wife, sought to recover the losses from the operator, BetEasy. The company reported the case to the Commission in July 2019. Consequently, in August that same year, the Account Holder and the Gambler also contacted the Commission to submit their dispute.

Interestingly, the dispute between the Gambler, the Account Holder, and BetEasy was resolved under confidential terms in April this year. That happened the evening before a hearing by the Commission was set. Regardless, the Northern Territory Racing Commission issued two penalties for BetEasy totaling $40,200 (AU$53,720).

BetEasy Receives Two Penalties

The first penalty relates to the Commission’s 2016 Code of Practice for Responsible Online Gambling also known as the RG Code. That breach resulted in a $20,100 (AU$26,860) fine for BetEasy. Additionally, the watchdog concluded that the operator did not adhere to its terms and conditions related to the use of an account by a third party. This breach resulted in another $20,100 (AU$26,860) fine.

The watchdog outlined that BetEasy may have breached another condition of its license which is related to placing relevant processes and systems for account opening, as well as customer identification to meet effective anti-money laundering rules. Those processes must be in place to prevent wrongdoing.

Last but not least, the Commission outlined that it considered suspending the license but said that “given that the license is not operational at this time such suspension would have little effect.” Thus, it decided that a monetary penalty would be better in this case.

The Gambler Used an Account Created under His Partner’s Details

The fines are the result of the actions of an unknown affiliate, according to the Commission. That affiliate contacted the Gambler via SMS on January 11, 2019. At that time, it was already known that the Gambler was a self-excluded customer of CrownBet, which is BetEasy’s predecessor. BetEasy was also aware of his status at the time.

Regardless, John Dow that contacted the Gambler offered to resume his betting account under his partner who was referred to as the Account Holder. The Gambler then provided the details of the Account Holder which included copies of IDs and personal information. After that, the unknown affiliate requested to open a BetEasy account with the Account Holder’s details and passed it to the opening team that is responsible for online identity verification. Consequently, the account was opened on March 15, 2019.

Then, according to the watchdog, it took BetEasy only 24 hours to identify a possible link between the account and the Gambler. As it turned out, both shared the same residential address. Although initially the account was funded mostly by free bets arranged by the unknown affiliate, multiple large credit card deposits were made at a later time.

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