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Gambling Commission sounds warning to industry over non-disclosure clauses

The Gambling Commission has warned the industry over the use of non-disclosure clauses in settlements which could prevent people from reporting regulatory concerns. They are investigating claims made to the Guardian that Ladbrokes agreed to pay nearly £1 million to the victims of a problem gambler who funded his habit with stolen money in return for them not informing the industry’s regulator. A report in the newspaper in December said the gambler, a British citizen who ran a property business in Dubai, stole from clients to fund his habit, which ran up to £60,000 a day. It also claimed five of his victims made a complaint against Ladbrokes and the bookmaker agreed to pay them a combined sum of £975,000 in return for them not making a complaint or report to the Gambling Commision. In a statement, the Gambling Commission said: “We have become aware that some licensees have been including non-disclosure clauses within settlement agreements with consumers and we are continuing our investigation into these. “Some of these agreements may have had the effect of preventing those consumers from reporting regulatory concerns to us, by either excluding disclosure to any third party or, in some cases, explicitly preventing customers from contacting the Gambling Commission. “We recognise that in certain commercial contexts, use of NDAs is commonplace and such agreements, when used properly, can benefit both parties. Examples of appropriate use might include resolving supplier or intellectual property disputes. “However, we are keen to ensure that non-disclosure clauses do not result in consumers feeling they are unable to notify the commission or other regulators or law enforcement agencies of conduct which might otherwise be reported.”

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