By Alex Macey, Gamvisory.

Gamvisory have been continuing to quietly support a number of individuals that have suffered harms through disordered gambling.  We have worked on a model of ‘enlightenment’ and dual accountability through our support of individuals which has provided them with the insights to understand that their behaviours weren’t only their own fault.  The process has allowed sufferers to have their shame and guilt eased, with the support of their loved ones and signposting to appropriate additional agencies.  Sufferers have understood that the continued onus placed on the individual themselves for shouldering the blame, whilst there being no accountability from the exploitation they were evidently exposed to, prolonged and exacerbated their feelings of shame and guilt and thus hindered recovery.

Gamvisory are encouraged by the many messages of support from individuals we have assisted.  Gamvisory are forming alliances with organisations that share our values and we look forward to building upon these moving forward.  We are passionate about forming partnerships with those that are supportive of the work we undertake.    

Case involving criminality ignored by the Gambling Commission

Gamvisory became aware that a disordered gambler was under police investigation for stealing a significant sum of money from his employer during previous years.  We have been provided with full disclosure of the evidence and circumstances of the case by the individual concerned.  It has been established that the individual informed the Gambling Commission of his criminality used for online gamling in April 2019.  We have seen correspondence from The Commission which clearly indicates that they appeared to have ignored the disclosure that potential offences of money laundering have occurred with a number of UKGC licence holders and failed to act upon this information.  

On 26.05.2020 we wrote to a director of The Gambling Commission to stress the urgent nature of this matter and demanded that the individual’s case was looked into, pointing out that the initial disclosure made by the individual in April 2019 had been ignored.  It took until 12.06.2020 to receive a response, which requested basic details about the criminal offences.  Since this time, Gamvisory have written to The Commission several times, along with the investigating police officer, to request urgent updates on behalf of the individual concerned. The director has failed to personally respond to the communications we have sent to date.   

On 22.06.2020 Gamvisory received an email from The Commission to inform us that the matter is being looked into by a specialist team and that no updates will be provided.   

We have again written to the director of The Commission to inform her that this is not an acceptable position and have demanded that the individual concerned is provided with an immediate update.  The individual has been charged with several offences relating to the theft of a significant sum from his previous employee.  Gamvisory ague that had The Commission not have ignored the disclosure of this in April 2019 and conducted an investigation into potential offences of Money Laundering and Social Responsibility breaches, then the outcome of these investigations could’ve been completed prior to him being charged and thus have had a significant impact on the individual’s own criminal case.

We also note that an item of correspondence sent to the individual, after disclosing he had lost a significant sum with an online company, was to state that as the company concerned had surrendered its licence, that The Commission was unable to assist him. We note the parallel of this response to the recent regulatory action taken against Playtech in May 2020, which also involved a subsidiary company surrendering its licence. The parent company of this particular licence holder is a well known UKGC company which has previously faced regulatory action from The Commission.

We demand that The Commission makes it clear that the individual should not face justice until the full facts of The Commission’s investigations against several UKGC licence holders that the individual was allowed to spend stolen money with, are presented to his defence solicitors.  Without this information being provided, the individual is denied a right to a fair trail.  Furthermore, under the codes of practices that the police and Crown Prosecution Service are required to adhere to, a criminal investigation has to collect the full material available to ensure the evidence can be disclosed to the defence.  This is a requirement under The Criminal Procedure and Investigatory Act, (CPIA) 1996.  The basis of this act is to ensure that people receive a fair trial and that all evidence available is recorded, retained and revealed.  

At present, without The Commission completing an investigation into whether there have been failings by the companies in which the accused individual had gambled with, CPIA has not been complied with and therefore the individual is unable to receive a fair hearing at court.          

Updates on further cases of concern:

In recent publications, I have provided information concerning some my own personal cases, two of which involved signing and subsequently breaching NDAs with UKGC licence holders GVC and Aspire Global Communications.  An additional case involving M.T. Secure trade Ltd is also of interest.  I shall be providing an update relating to the handling of these cases by The Gambling Commission in due course.