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Playtech responds to UKGC statement with £3.5m donation to charity

28th May 2020 10:14 am GMT

Playtech has said that it will donate £3.5m to charities combating gambling related harm following Wednesday’s statement by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) regarding social responsibility failures at a former Playtech subsidiary.

The UKGC public statement highlighted social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures at PT Entertainment Services (PTES), which were identified following an investigation prompted by the family of one customer who tragically took his own life.

The board of directors of Playtech issued a statement Thursday accepting full responsibility for the failures at PTES and expressed its deepest sympathies to the family of the individual.

It added that following an internal investigation, the board has decided to increase its earlier £619,395 donation to gambling charities to £3.5m, in order to match the figure that the company would have been liable for if it had not closed down the subsidiary.

The company added that the decision to close down the PTES business was taken prior to the commencement of the Gambling Commission’s investigation and that decisive action was taken to address the identified breaches ahead of its closure in 2019.

“The findings of this investigation do not reflect where Playtech stands today. But while the company has made many positive and important changes, we feel it is only right for us to recognise these historic failings by offering this increased amount,” said Playtech interim chairman Claire Milne.

“In speaking with many of our stakeholders, it was clear they felt the failings were not representative of the Playtech they know. Through this action, we want to send a message to them and the wider industry of who we are today and aspire to be.

“Raising industry standards on safer gambling and being a leader in responsible business is central to our strategy as a technology partner,” Milne added. “In my new role as Interim Chairman, I am fully committed to this continuing to be a key focus of ours going forward.”

Mor Weizer, chief executive of Playtech, commented: “We take full responsibility for these regulatory breaches. As a technology specialist, Playtech focuses on harnessing its capabilities in data-driven intelligence to place consumer protection at the centre of every stage of the player experience from game design to real-time engagement and messaging.

“In recent years, we have invested significantly to seek to ensure that these types of breaches do not happen again, including addressing the specific issues raised by the Commission.”

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