Popular gambling site Mr Green (owned by William Hill) has just been hit with a huge fine. £3 million pounds sterling to be exact – for failure to comply with some gambling laws. Specifically, ones that are meant to protect gambling addicts from financial harm. Great Britain has fairly strict laws when it comes to protecting customers of gambling sites.
Specifically, this case involved a few problematic scenarios; among them, a customer who won £50.000 and gambled all of it away before depositing thousands more. Mr. Green ought to have frozen the account but didn’t. Along with that, they also showed recklessness in regard to confirming the source of funds used to gamble.
Apparently, the company accepted a decade-old document confirming receipt of £176.000 as proof of funds. The customer deposited over £1 million pounds. A third case saw an even more absurd ‘proof’ of funds – apparently, the company accepted a photo of a laptop screen showing currency in a crypto account as a reliable source of funds for that particular account. Needless to say, that absolutely should not happen and very much goes against the existing UK regulations regarding proof of funds.
Changing the playing field
Though these are serious issues and allegations, Mr Green is by no means the first betting site to have been found guilty of such violations. As a matter of fact, they are the ninth company to be punished as part of a sting by the Gambling Commission in the UK. They were specifically investigating safeguarding measures (or lack thereof) for online casinos, as well as money laundering concerns.
In the past two years, this commission has handed out a hefty £20 million in fines and penalties. The money is going to a good cause though – it will go to the NSRGH, or National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, which aims to provide support and treatment for gambling addicts.
Regarding the Mr Green case, Richard Watson, the Gambling Commission’s 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.”
William Hill Financial penalties
Mr Green, owned by William Hill since last year, hasn’t proven to be too good an investment apparently – after an initial purchase price of £242 million pounds, the company had to pay that £3 million pounds fine as well.
That isn’t to say that the fine isn’t justified – it very much is. Systematic failure to comply with the laws and regulations intended to protect people from harm is no small matter – this is even more true when it comes to money laundering allegations.