Gambling company fined £3 million for failure to protect customers

5th Mar 2020

An online gambling company has been fined £3 million for failing to sufficiently protect customers and prevent money laundering.

The website, Mr Green, is owned by William Hill, one of the best-known companies in the UK gambling sector.

After examining three customer accounts in 2018, the Gambling Commission found “systematic failings” on social responsibility and anti-money laundering controls.

It found that Mr Green had fallen short of protecting its customers in numerous ways. It hadn’t frozen the account of a customer who had won £50,000 but then gambled it away, only to then deposit thousands more.

When the firm asked a customer who had deposited over £1 million for proof that they had enough money to continue gambling, they accepted 10-year-old evidence of a £176,000 claims payout. And one customer, when asked to demonstrate the source of their funds, got away with using a photograph of a laptop screen showing currency – in dollars – of an alleged cryptocurrency trading account.

Since 2018, the Gambling Commission has got tougher on companies who are failing to adequately protect their customers. Mr Green is the ninth firm to face action under this crackdown, which has resulted in more than £20 million of fines.

“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,” said Richard Watson, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission, who added that Mr Green’s failings had “affected a significant number of customers across its online casinos”.

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