William Hill fined £6.2m by Gambling Commission

  • Lax controls earn William Hill £6.2m fine
  • UKGC say the penalty could rise if more people come forward

The Gambling Commission has handed William Hill a £6.2m fine after finding the bookmaker breached anti-money-laundering and social responsibility regulations.

William Hill were hit by the fine after the UKGC concluded that the casino company did not do enough to ensure prevention measures were effective.

Tim Miller Gambling Commission
Tim Miller of the Gambling Commission said the penalty given to William Hill could still rise. PHOTO: BBC NEWS

This led to 10 customers being able to deposit money which was linked to criminal offences; with William Hill gaining £1.2m as a result.

The penalty is the second biggest ever imposed by the UKGC, with 888 Casino‘s £7.8m fine the largest the regulator has ever handed.

A Gambling Commission statement stated that William Hill’s senior management “failed to mitigate risks and have sufficient numbers of staff to ensure their anti-money-laundering and social responsibility processes were effective”.

William Hill said it had co-operated with the Commission during the investigation and had committed to an independent review and would work to implement any recommendations following this review.

The report found that one customer at the casino made deposits totalling £541,000 over a 14-month period, with William Hill assuming the player’s income was £365,000 a year.

This assumption was “based on a verbal conversation and without further probing” but the customer was actually earning about £30,000 a year and was funding his gambling habit by stealing from his employer.

“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.” Neil McArthur, executive director at the Gambling Commission

Following the report William Hill will now need to appoint external auditors to review the effectiveness and implementation of their anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies and procedures to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself again.

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