The William Hill Group has replaced Entain as the holder of the UK’s record gambling fine after the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) slapped three of its firms with a total penalty of £19.2m ($23.6m). 888 Holdings, the owner of William Hill, confirmed it had put aside just £15m ($17m) in anticipation of a large penalty earlier this month.
The UKGC shared “the largest enforcement payment” in its history via Twitter on Tuesday:
The regulatory body split the $23.6m penalty between three William Hill sub-brands, namely a retail subsidiary operating 1,344 gambling shops, as well as online sites mrgreen.com and williamhill.com. The latter received the £12.5m ($15.4m) lion’s share of the fine.
The UKGC’s penalty comes after an investigation found feeble anti-money laundering mechanics. The William Hill sub-brands also allowed new customers to gamble large amounts quickly and without adequate checks. According to the UKGC press release, one William Hill customer:
bet £23,000 ($28,281) in 20 minutes.
The UKGC also stated the failures were so “widespread and alarming” that it gave “serious consideration” to suspending William Hill’s license.
888 can perhaps count itself lucky the fine was not in the £20m+ range, as some sources suggested earlier this month.