Emma Phillips, a former Paddy Power manager, was fired in 2020 for allowing bettors to play on credit. She appealed the decision but the court ruled that she was in the wrong.
Phillips Did What She Saw Other Companies Do
Philips appealed to Ireland’s Workplace Relations Commission. In her opinion, she did nothing wrong and was only following orders and rewarding customer loyalty. While she was expected to do her tasks, her actions were in breach of the regulations and the company’s policies.
WRC adjudicator Brian Dolan reviewed her case but said that she is not completely innocent. Dolan insisted that Philips should have contacted her higher-ups before making the decision. On the other hand, he agreed that Flutter Entertainment, Paddy Power’s parent company, was harsh in its judgment. However, Dolan emphasized that Flutter had no other choice but to fire Phillips in order to maintain its image.
Phillips began working as an assistant in a retail shop in 2015 and eventually was raised to the position of deputy manager. She and her boss had seen other operators give their customers credits and thought it might be beneficial to the shop to do the same. Thus, they hoped, the shop would not go out of business.
Flutter Does Not Allow Gamblers to Play on Credit
Despite her best intentions, Phillips’ actions breached Flutter’s policies. Flutter, as a company, does not allow customers to play on credit. Other operators might think of it as a way to build customer loyalty but Flutter emphasizes that it nurtures problem gambling.
Regardless of whether a customer has no money on themselves or cannot afford to gamble at the moment, Flutter prohibits customers from taking wagering credits – something Phillips and her boss should have been familiar with.
Furthermore, gambling credits often result in other problems, especially when it comes to issuing IOUs. Bets on credit appear in the company’s financial data for the day but they do not have actual revenue to back them as the customers are yet to pay. This causes accounting hurdles that Flutter is better off without.
In the end, Phillips admitted that she knew Flutter’s policy does not allow punters to take credits. While she justified her actions with practices she had seen in other companies, this was not enough to let her keep her job.
The WRC concluded that Phillips was guilty of not contacting the company’s higher-ups and acting in breach of Flutter’s policies. Because of this, she will not be returning to her job at Paddy Power.