William Hill Group’s brands WHG (International) Limited, Mr Green limited, and William Hill Organization Limited have to pay a fine of £19.2 million in total for violations and failures related to social responsibility and anti-money laundering laws.
WHG will pay the biggest fine of £12.5 million, while Mr Green will pay £3.7 million. William Hill Organization will pay the lowest fine of £3 million.
A list of breaches:
William Hill businesses made few serious breaches in the recent period. That includes failing to control the amount of money spent on gambling, which increases the risk of losing huge amounts of money for customers. Also, the company didn’t recognize the customers that are potential problem gamblers, allowing them to carry out various checks at the beginning.
The control of customers wasn’t good enough, which led to one customer losing £11.400 in a month. Also, attention is paid to one customer when their losses went up to £45.800. Also, the company didn’t identify how customers’ behavior changed and if it is related to problem gambling and other situations where the customers could possibly experience some harm.
The 24-hour delay is required when the credit limit is requested, and WHG didn’t respect it but granted it to the players without additional checks.
Additional control hasn’t been conducted when it comes to various casinos – WHG allowed 331 customers to gamble in its casino, and these customers were previously self-excluded from Mr Green.
New customers weren’t protected – their spending and duration of play weren’t checked, so they could easily be at risk of extensive gambling and huge losses. After the COVID-19 pandemic, gamblers were at increased risk of losing huge amounts of money, and the casino let one customer lose £10,600 in two days without any double-checks.
When it comes to anti-money laundering (AML) violations, few of them are pretty serious. The company allowed its customers to deposit huge amounts of money without any required checks. Also, the customers were allowed to stake money without examining it closely and monitoring if the customers were up to the required standards. There were situations where the company didn’t even take the customers’ documentation or SoF evidence and let them stake money.
The company’s policies, procedures, and controls weren’t monitored closely, which led to a lack of necessary actions needed to prevent some outcomes. Hard stops that needed to be established in order to prevent people from excessive spending weren’t established, and the AML staff didn’t have the right information and necessary training, which is needed for good management.
The regulatory settlement on these fines says that the money will be used for socially responsible purposes. The fine isn’t the only punishment for the company. There will be some license conditions that will ensure that an improvement plan for casinos is made.
A third-party audit will be assigned in order to control all policies, procedures, and controls related to the AML and safe gambling policy.