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Backlash after record 888 fine

THE head of Gibraltar’s Gambling Commission has defended the industry and accused UK media groups of over-hyping the issue of gambling and feeding an anti-gambling agenda.

Phill Brear’s comments come after Gibraltar-based online betting firm 888 was penalised a record £7.8million after the UK Gambling Commission said that they had found “significant flaws” in 888’s efforts to protect consumers.

The company were accused of having“outrageous” failings through a technical failure in the company’s systems meant more than 7,000 customers who had signed up to its self-exclusion scheme were able to deposit £3.5million into their accounts, gambling nearly £51m in deposits and recycled winnings.

Mr Brear suggests that politicians and others in the UK are being seduced by inaccurate reporting. He argues that in general the self-exclusion scheme is a noble concept but that it is open to abuse from people who will find away around the system.

He added that a recent report by the UK Gambling Commission found that problem gamblers constituted just one per cent of the UK population and that the availability of online gambling had expanded the market by no more than four or five per cent.

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