William Hill Fined £19.2 Million
William Hill Fined £19.2 Million. Three gambling businesses under the William Hill Group umbrella have been ordered to pay a combined £19.2 million for lapses in social responsibility and anti-money laundering measures. WHG (International) Limited, which operates williamhill.com, faces a £12.5 million penalty, while Mr Green Limited (mrgreen.com) will pay £3.7 million, and William Hill Organization Limited, with 1,344 gambling premises across Britain, is set to pay £3 million.
Gambling Commission Chief Executive Andrew Rhodes stated that the breaches discovered during the investigation were so severe that license suspension was considered. However, due to the operator’s prompt acknowledgement of its shortcomings and cooperation in implementing improvements, the Commission opted for the largest enforcement payment in its history instead.
This enforcement action follows a week after the Commission levied a combined £7.2 million fine against two Kindred Group plc-owned operators. Since 2022, the Commission has concluded 26 enforcement cases, with operators paying over £76 million due to regulatory failures.
Rhodes noted that despite the unprecedented action against gambling operators in the last 15 months, the industry is beginning to show signs of improvement. Operators are using algorithms to detect gambling harms or criminal risks more quickly, interacting with consumers earlier, and generally implementing more effective policies and procedures.
William Hill businesses’ social responsibility failures include insufficient controls to protect new customers, failing to identify customers at risk of gambling-related harm, and inadequate identification of harm risks, among others. Anti-money laundering failures involve allowing customers to deposit large amounts without proper checks, insufficient guidance on appropriate actions following customer profiling, and inadequate AML staff training.
The entire £19.2 million fine will be allocated to socially responsible initiatives as part of a regulatory settlement. Additional license conditions will also be implemented to ensure that a business board member oversees an improvement plan and that a third-party audit evaluates the effectiveness of the companies’ AML and safer gambling policies, procedures, and controls.