Britain’s Gambling Commission has slapped a 19.2 million pound ($23.7 million) fine on companies owned by betting shop group William Hill for failing to protect consumers and weak anti-money laundering controls, it said on Tuesday.
The regulator said the issues at the three companies in the William Hill group, itself owned by online gaming and betting operator 888, were so concerning that it seriously considered suspending the firm’s licence.Instead the regulator opted to hand William Hill the largest penalty in UK gambling history.
“We found serious non-compliance issues around safer gambling measures … and also anti-money laundering control failings across the company,” Andrew Rhodes, chief executive of the Gambling Commission told BBC Radio.
Customers were permitted to deposit large sums of money without the companies conducting any checks, the Commission said.
In response, 888 said the problems which led to the fines related to the period before its ownership. It completed its takeover of William Hill and related companies last year.”
After William Hill was acquired, the company quickly addressed the identified issues with the implementation of a rigorous action plan,” an 888 spokesperson said.