A company based in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, received reimbursement from online gambling operator 32Red. The company got back almost £590,000 after an employee used company credit cards to fund her gambling habit.
32Red was the operator that received the unauthorised payments, and a Public Prosecution Service (PPS) barrister has confirmed at a hearing at the Crown Court in Derry that they have, indeed, repaid the money to the company that owns S3 Alliance. Although it is less than what the Londonderry company lost, the reimbursed amount covers almost the entire amount that the woman had stolen from her employer.
The barrister explained that the gambling operator gave back the money as a gratuity. And according to a defence Queen’s Council barrister, the prosecution and the defence both engaged several accountants to determine if the entire amount had been paid back to the company from which it was stolen. The court was further informed that the defendant is still awaiting a consultant psychiatrist’s assessment.
At a previous court hearing in October, former S3 Alliance employee Tracey Curran admitted that she had misappropriated funds from January 2016 to April 2017. She pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud, having used the company’s credit cards for several gambling transactions with 32Red without authorisation.
At this hearing, a PPS barrister explained that Curran had used the money to fuel her gambling habit, and lost the entire amount on the 32Red online gambling site. These transactions were made over the course of more than a year. So far, no information has been given on whether or not Curran has been categorised as a gambling addict.
Following confirmation, the case was adjourned, and a plea hearing is scheduled for December 20, 2019. In the meantime, the defendant is out on bail.
This isn’t the first time 32Red has received negative attention from the UK press this year. Back in September, the company was warned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about two Google search ads promoting their services that had already been paid for. They were asked to be more careful when targeting their gambling adverts because some of their ads may be misconstrued as a reference to content that’s particularly appealing to children.
Other than that, the company has suffered a huge financial penalty because of its failure to make sure that required customer protection is provided. In June 2018, the UK Gambling Committee (UKGC) imposed a £2 million financial penalty package for failing to act in correspondence to its social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules. After an investigation, the UKGC found that the company allowed massive transactions by a customer without carrying out any of the checks it was supposed to carry out.
32Red has also received criticism for the deal they entered into with English Championship football club Derby County. The deal has Wayne Rooney wearing the number 32 shirt upon joining the team in January 2020. These are indeed tough times for 32Red, especially considering how much a good reputation means to all online casino operators.