William Hill gambling firm Mr Green fined for ‘systemic failings’

Online gambling company Mr Green, owned by William Hill, has been fined £3m for “systemic failings” in its measures to stop money laundering and problem gambling.

The Gambling Commission said Mr Green was the ninth gambling company to face sanctions as part of a lengthy probe that has led to firms paying out £20m since 2018.

It criticised Mr Green for a series of transgressions of its gambling licence, including failure to perform any checks on a customer who won £50,000, squandered the lot on new bets and then deposited thousands more.

The company also accepted 10-year-old evidence of a £176,000 claims payout as satisfactory evidence of the source of funds of a customer who deposited more than £1m.

Gambling companies have to check customers’ source of funds to ensure they are not laundering money or betting more than they can afford, indicating a possible gambling addiction.

In another case, Mr Green accepted a photograph of a laptop screen showing currency in dollars on an alleged cryptocurrency trading account as adequate source of funds proof.

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission executive director, said: “Our investigation uncovered systemic failings in respect of both Mr Green’s social responsibility and anti-money laundering controls which affected a significant number of customers across its online casinos.

“Consumers in Britain have the right to know that there are checks and balances in place which will help keep them safe and ensure gambling is crime-free – and we will continue to crack down on operators who fail in this area.”

The fine, the latest in a string of penalties issued to firms including William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral, 888, Paddy Power and Sky Bet, comes a day after the industry’s trade body said it wanted to ensure UK standards were the “highest in the world”.

The Betting and Gaming Council issued the statement in response to concerns raised by Gambling With Lives, set up by Charles and Liz Ritchie after the suicide of their son Jack who had a gambling addiction.

The statement included a claim that the industry would “ban betting on credit cards”, a measure its chief executive Michael Dugher insisted betting firms “fully and publicly” supported.

However, responses to a consultation on the credit card ban by the Gambling Commission last year show that every online gambling company that submitted evidence opposed the measure.

Mr Green said the failings took place before William Hill bought the company and had “since been addressed by the introduction of new processes”.

The fine comes on the same day that Paddy Power Betfair owner, Flutter, admitted that its revenues were suffering because of new measures to reduce problem gambling.

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