Three gambling firms owned by William Hill- a leading British gambling company are to pay penalties of £19.2m for failing to protect consumers and weak anti-money laundering controls.
The record penalty comes after the Gambling Commission found “widespread and alarming” issues at WHG (International) Limited, which runs williamhill.com, Mr Green Limited, and William Hill Organisation Limited.
Gambling Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes said: “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.”
WHG (International) Limited will pay £12.5 million; Mr Green Limited will pay £3.7 million; and William Hill Organisation Limited will pay £3 million.
Social responsibility failures at William Hill businesses included allowing one customer to open a new account and spend £23,000 in 20 minutes, allowing another to open an account and spend £18,000 in 24 hours and a third able to spend £32,500 over two days – all without any checks.
Ineffective controls allowed 331 customers to gamble with WHG (International) Limited despite having self-excluded with Mr Green.
Anti-money laundering (AML) failures included allowing customers to deposit large amounts without conducting appropriate checks – one customer was able to spend and lose £70,134 in a month, another to lose £38,000 in five weeks and another to lose £36,000 in four days.