Published On: Tue, Feb 20th, 2018

William Hill Fined £6.2 Million For Money Laundering Breaches

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UK Bookmaker William Hill has been fined a record amount of £6.2 million following a Gambling Commission review of the companies failings into money laundering.

The regulator for the gambling industry said that William Hill allowed ten customers to deposit huge sums of cash that was linked to crime.

In its report the Commission said that the bookmaker did not seek proper information into the source of the cash from those individuals.

The commission said senior management at William Hill “failed to mitigate risks and have sufficient numbers of staff to ensure their anti-money laundering and social responsibility processes were effective.”

Neil McArthur the Gambling Commission executive director said: “This was a systemic failing at William Hill which went on for nearly two years and today’s penalty package reflects the seriousness of the breaches.

“Gambling businesses have a responsibility to ensure that they keep crime out of gambling and tackle problem gambling – and as part of that they must be constantly curious about where the money they are taking is coming from.”

Those failings said the Commission happened between November 2014 and August 2016.

Of those customers one deposited £541,000 over 14 months, another deposited £365,000 and on both occasions William Hill failed to ascertain where the money came from. In one instance the operator asked the client where the money came from and believed them when said it was from there £365,000 a year salary, in actual fact their salary was £30,000.

One of the largest breaches was a customer who over 18 months deposited £650,000 which should of sent an “amber alert” to the operator but his file was never checked by managers.

This did not occur due to a “systems failure” and the customer was allowed to gamble for a further six months despite continuing to activate financial alerts, the Commission said.

The fine covers the total amount of those individuals gambling from crime and the profit William Hill made from those gambling, in total £6.2 million.

Philip Bowcock  the Chief executive of William Hill said the company had fully cooperated with the commission and introduced “new and improved policies and increased levels of resourcing” as well as launching an independent review of its processes.

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- iGaming & land based specialist reporter for the global gaming market