UK bookmaker William Hill has been ordered to pay £6.2m as a penalty for breaching anti-money laundering and social responsibility regulations.
The penalty, imposed by the Gambling Commission relates to a failure in the company's checks which resulted in 10 customers depositing large sums linked to criminal offences. According to the commission, these large sum deposits, resulting in gains for William Hill of around £1.2m.
"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," the commission said in a statement.
It added: “Senior management failed to mitigate risks and have sufficient numbers of staff to ensure their anti-money laundering and social responsibility processes were effective.”
Specifically, the bookmaker “did not adequately seek information about the source of their funds or establish whether they (depositors) were problem gamblers”.
In response the fine and the Gambling Commissions concerns, William Hill said it will appoint external auditors to review the effectiveness and implementation of its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies and procedures. The bookmaker has promised to share its findings with the wider industry.
William Hill and the gambling industry in general, has come under fire from politicians. Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson tweeted today: “William Hill has just been fined £6.2 million by the Gambling Commission for accepting money from criminals without carrying out proper background checks.
“And this is an industry that talks about ‘responsible gambling’. They’re turning a blind eye to dirty money.”
William Hill's share price was largely unchanged in early morning trading.