William Hill Group receives record fine of over £19 million imposed by UKGC
Penalty for both William Hill and Mr Green
William Hill Group is, as said earlier, one of the biggest gambling companies in the United Kingdom. This means that if they commit offences the penalty will turn out higher than most companies, because of their reach and influence. The William Hill Group has been imposed three fines by the Gambling Commission (UKGC). Those three fines summed up gets to a total of £19.2 million.
- The online casino William Hill gets the highest fine of all: £12.5 million.
- Mr Green Casino receives a fine of £3.7 million.
- The last and least, but certainly not low, a fine for William Hill retail (land based casinos) from £3 million.
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William Hill Group’s offences
All three brands fall under the William Hill Group. De fines have been imposed because of several offences regarding anti-money laundering and responsible gaming rules. The UK Gambling Commission takes the offences very seriously, since they were debating about suspending William Hill’s license.
Andrew Rhodes, Chief Executive from the UKGC says the following:
“When the UKGC started this investigation, the breaches identified were so serious and apparent across all brands that we considered revoking the William Hill Group’s licence.”
“William Hill Group saved itself by acknowledging their mistakes and and engaging with us in search of improvements. One consequence, however, is that we had to impose the largest penalty payment in history.”
– Andrew Rhodes
William Hill Casino
William Hill Casino is a well-known online casino, especially in the UK. At William Hill you can bet on all sports such as boxing, Formula 1, Football and a lot more. Besides that William Hill has an online Casino with games as Poker, Bingo and various Slots, but also a Live Casino with numerous live studios.
No checks were done by Mr Green
A whole list of violations by Mr Green has been published, but the most highlighted were poor to non-existent checks by Mr Green. There are stories about players that opened an account and lost £23.000 within 20 minutes, without any checks performed by Mr Green.
William Hill went wrong on several levels, both in the online casino and the land based branches were no checks performed. These checks need to be performed to find out where the gambled money comes from. Thus, gambling with large amounts of black money may be taking place. Failure to carry out these checks violates the anti-money laundering rules. Players who are out there to launder money can bet huge amounts of money on games as Roulette and Online Slots. These huge amounts of money could be betted at William Hill without any William Hill interventions.
A bad start for 888 Holdings
A bad start for 888 Holdings since they have to pay this huge fine. Last summer William Hill Group has been taken over by 888 Holdings for an amount no less than £1.95 billion. The amount for the takeover would have been a lot higher, but with eyes on the possible record fine for William Hill it has been lowered.
On top of that has 888 received a fine of £9.4 million from the UK Gambling Commission in March 2022.
An improvement plan for the William Hill Group
The reason william hill group’s licence has not been suspended is all due to the fact that they cooperated so well with the investigation and promised to improve. A member of the board of directors has been held responsible for the improvement plan. Following this, an independent party will assess whether William Hill has actually contributed to improvements in policies, procedures, controls, anti-money laundering and responsible gaming.
More Fines imposed by the UK Gambling Commission
Not only William Hill has been fined last month. Also gambling company Entain has been surprised with a £17 million fine.
The UKGC has fined a lot of gambling operators the last 15 months. The commission has imposed as many as 26 fines totalling more than £76 million since early 2022.
Andrew Rhodes reacts on the following sanctions:
“We have seen an improvement at the operators that have been fined by us. For instance, there are clear signs that gambling operators are doing their best to prevent incoming criminal money by using algorithms.”