William Hill has been hit with a record £19.2m penalty by the UK Gambling Commission due to social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
Reported on Sky News in the video above, the latest financial punishment will see Mr Green pay £3.7m, while William Hill’s online business will be hit with a £12.5m penalty and a further £3m to the firm’s retail operations.
Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive, noted: “When we launched this investigation the failings we uncovered were so widespread and alarming serious consideration was given to licence suspension.
“However, because the operator immediately recognised their failings and worked with us to swiftly implement improvements, we instead opted for the largest enforcement payment in our history.”
The compliance failures in question took place between May and 18 October in the case of William Hill Online and Mr Green, and between 1 January 2020 and 18 October 2021 in the case of the group’s retail business.
Furthermore, additional licence conditions will also be added to ensure a business board member oversees an improvement plan. A third-party audit will also be undertaken to assess effective implementation of its AML and safer gambling policies, procedures and controls.
This becomes the latest UKGC regulatory action issued this year, following 10bet’s £620,000 penalty package, Intouch Games being handed down a financial penalty of £6.1m, a third in four years; TonyBet being penalised £442,750 and Vivaro, trading as VBet, making payments in lieu of a penalty package of £337,631. The Commission last week penalised Kindred Group’s Unibet and 32Red brands a combined £7.1m.
Issuing a statement in response to the enforcement action, parent 888 emphasised that the failings occurred at William Hill prior to its takeover of the brand, and that since integrating the bookmaker into its business it has addressed all outstanding issues.
“The settlement relates to the period when William Hill was under the previous ownership and management,” 888’s statement read.
“After William Hill was acquired, the company quickly addressed the identified issues with the implementation of a rigorous action plan.
“The entire group shares the GC’s commitment to improve compliance standards across the industry and we will continue to work collaboratively with the regulator and other stakeholders to achieve this.”
For a more detailed breakdown of the UKGC’s sanctions on William Hill, click here to be directed to SBC News.