william hill fined 6 2m customer protection aml failuresby Joker 20.02.2018 0 comments
The William Hill Group (WHG) is to pay a £6.2m penalty package for “systemic social responsibility and money laundering failures.”
A near two year Gambling Commission (UKGC) investigation, undertaken between November 2014 and August 2016, found that senior management failed to mitigate risks, with a sufficient number of staff members not on hand to ensure anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility processes were effective.
As a result ten customers we able to deposit £1.2m of money linked to criminal offences, and from which William Hill gained.
Neil McArthur, Executive Director at the UKGC, said: “We will use the full range of our enforcement powers to make gambling fairer and safer.
“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.
“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.”
The UK bookmaker is to pay a total of £5m for regulation breaches, including a divestment of the £1.2m earned from the transactions, and where victims of the customers can be identified, they are to be duly reimbursed.
In its statement, William Hill acknowledged “a number of cases where former policies were insufficient to ensure full regulatory compliance, particularly in relation to the identification of the possible proceeds of crime.”
With its CEO, Philip Bowcock, commenting: “William Hill has fully co-operated with the Commission throughout this process, introducing new and improved policies and increased levels of resourcing. We have also committed to an independent process review and will work to implement any recommendations that emerge from that review.
“We are fully committed to operating a sustainable business that properly identifies risk and better protects customers. We will continue to assist the Commission and work with other operators to improve practices in the areas identified.”
The UKGC also revealed certain examples (with approximate figures), of failings identified as part of the investigation: