William Hill Slapped with £6.2M Fine by UK Gambling CommissionFebruary 20, 2018 1:18 pm
Betting operator William Hill has just been slapped with a £6.2 million fine by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for a litany of failings which included not effectively implementing the country’s anti-money laundering laws and social responsibility regulations. The penalty was the second-largest ever doled out by the UKGC, with the biggest being the £7.8 million fine handed to 888 in 2017 for its failure to protect problem gamblers.
The investigation carried out by the Gambling Commission reviewed William Hill’s operation from November 2014 to August 2016, with the regulatory body subsequently highlighting numerous examples in which the betting company’s controls were insufficient. Commenting upon the situation, UKGC executive director Tim Miller explained that William Hill should have done a better job “checking the source of money and understanding their customers and ensuring that potentially vulnerable customers are properly protected”.
Amongst the failings cited by the UKGC was William Hill accepting around £1.2 million in deposit from 10 of its customers without suspecting that the money was linked to criminal activities. This included one man being able to deposit £541,000 over 14 months at William Hill with the company assuming that his income was £365,000 a year based upon a verbal conversation, instead of his actual £30,000 a year wage. In fact, the customer had been stealing money from his employer in order to fund his gambling habit.
Overall, transactions with these 10customers resulted in a £1.2 million fine for the company, with a further £5 million levied on William Hill for breaching procedural checks and regulations.
“This was a systemic failing at William Hill which went on for nearly two years and today’s penalty package – which could exceed £6.2m – reflects the seriousness of the breaches,” explained UKGC executive director Neil McArthur.
Meanwhile, William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock has said that his company co-operated fully with the UKGC throughout the whole investigative process, and that the operator was now “introducing new and improved policies,” as well as increasing its levels of resourcing so that staff could more readily identify risk and better protects their customers.