888 Actions Highlight Hypocrisy Over British Crypto Treatment

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  • UK gambling company 888 has been fine £9.4 million for breaching a range of rules
  • The company failed to protect vulnerable customers or check the source of funds
  • British regulators are hugely anti-crypto for the exact same reasons

British online casino company 888 was fined £9.4 million ($12.5 million) yesterday after regulators found that it failed at-risk customers and didn’t do enough to ensure that deposits were “crime free”. The fine, the second time the firm has been hit in this way in five years, comes after the UK’s financial watchdog, The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has done its best to eradicate crypto trading in the country because of the supposed risk to market participant and allegations of links to criminal activity.

888 Fined for the Second Time in Five Years

When news broke of 888’s huge fine from the Gambling Commission yesterday, British cryptocurrency enthusiasts would have been forgiven for shaking their heads in disbelief given how the digital asset space has been treated by British regulators in the past 18 months.

The Gambling Commission accused 888 of a number of faults, with some of the most egregious including allowing gamblers to play past their stated income levels, not carrying out checks on five-figure deposits to determine the source of funds, and allowing users to create multiple new accounts after existing ones had been suspended.

This isn’t the only time 888 has been pulled up for issues like this – in 2017 it was fined £7.8 million ($10.3 million) for “failing vulnerable customers”.

Trading Crypto is Bad…Just Gamble Instead

British crypto users will have been seething at the fact that regulated gambling companies are operating with such a laissez faire attitude to customer safety, including knowingly allowing customers to bet more than their stated income, and yet the FCA and other institutions are doing all they can to ban crypto trading because of the risk to user funds.

It’s clear that crypto is being punished where casinos are allowed to carry on taking punters’ money, even if the odds are massively against them all the same, perhaps even more so. The message that crypto is bad because you could lose your money but you can gamble it away instead where you still won’t be protected is not one that will go down well with British crypto supporters.