The UK Gambling Commission has been on a mission to gain some sort of control over the gambling market within the country. Part of this mission has been to ensure that anti-money laundering and social responsibility are fully implemented in the best possible ways at online casinos. Online platforms were informed that a crackdown on such was on its way, but unfortunately for William Hill, the message wasn’t received loudly enough.
Now, the betting firm has been given a £6.2 million penalty by the Commission due to breaching regulations relating to anti-money laundering and social responsibility. In a statement about the fine, the Gambling Commission spoke of how William Hill hadn’t done enough to make sure that any prevention measures were both in place and effective. Because of such, a total of 10 customers had the ability to deposit money which was linked to various criminal offences. From this, William Hill profited by £1.2 million.
The regulatory body of the UK discovered that William Hill didn’t do enough in order to determine where the money had come from and if the players depositing such were actually problem gamers. That’s why the fine comes as the second largest that the Commission has imposed, only following behind last year’s penalty against 888, which stood at £7.8 million. Despite this fine, William Hill has been co-operative with the Commission during its investigation. The company now looks to reviewing its sites and towards implementing certain recommendations.
What Does the Commission Have to Say?
The Executive Director of the Gambling Commission, Tim Miller spoke of the need for William Hill to have been checking money sources, as well as having more of an understanding of its customers.
The investigation that the regulatory body undertook was done between November 2014 and August of 2016, and from this time period, the Commission was able to pick up on certain times when William Hill was ineffective, such as:
- A customer made deposits equal to about £541,000 in a 14-month time period. William Hill assumed that his potential income stood at £365,000 a year. This was based on verbal conversation and went no further. Actually, the customer was earning roughly £30,000 a year and was only able to deposit so much by stealing funds from his place of employment.
- One more customer had the ability to deposit £653,000, which happened in an 18-month period. This did activate a financial alert at the online gaming site, putting the customer’s account on “amber”. From this, the player’s account should have had a full review due to the anti-money laundering policy in place at William Hill. The account did receive a mark to be passed to managers for review, but due to a system failure, it did not take place. This player was able to continue gaming at the site for another six-month period.
The fine that the Commission has imposed on the gambling site will see it pay over £5 million due to breach of regulations. The remaining £1.2 million is a pay-out of the amount that the 10 customers were able to deposit at the platform.
From now onwards, William Hill also needs to set up some external auditors in order to review the effectiveness and the implementation of its own social responsibility and anti-money laundering procedures.