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UKGC £19.2 Million Fine Smashes World Record Holding Slot WinBy Shane Addinall Mar 28, 2023 LegalityThe UKGC doled out a record-breaking fine of £19.2 million for AML and money laundering transgressions of the Gambling Act in 2020 and 2021. Read on to learn more about who is involved and what has been done to resolve the company's internal processes.
When the online gambling community reports on numbers like “£19.2 million", it is usually connected to an impressive progressive jackpot win. In fact, the current registered Guinness World Record for the "largest jackpot payout in an online slot machine game” is £13.2 million.
Richard Williams, the gambling specialist at Keystone Law, said:Quote
“The £19.2m financial penalty issued by the Gambling Commission will be a wake-up call to any entity looking to acquire a gambling business operating in Great Britain.”
While it has not officially replaced the 2015 win, an Absolootly Mad slot player won a record-breaking €19,430,723.60 (£17.05 million) in 2021. Even this does not come close to the incredible £19.2 million fine that the Gambling Commission levied against 888, the new owner of William Hill!
Not Pulling Any Punches.
Earlier today, March 28th, the British Gambling Commission finalised its findings on the long history of misdeeds perpetrated by the William Hill Group prior to its acquisition by 888. The result was a staggering £19.2 million fine.
Gambling Commission CEO, Andrew Rhodes, said:Quote
“When we launched this investigation, the failings we uncovered were so widespread and alarmingly serious that consideration was given to licence suspension. However, because the operator immediately recognised their failings and worked with us to swiftly implement improvements, we instead opted for the largest enforcement payment in our history.”
The fines were split amongst the various individual gaming sites within the group as follows:
- WH International - £12.5 million
- Mr Green - £3.7 million
- High Streets Bookies Division - £3 million
Despite the need to apply fines for past grievances, it is essential to note that Rhodes spoke positively of the gaming group's recent performance and dedication to resolving the issues that plagued it in the past.
Standing in the Gap
In response to the announcement, the 888 parent company has confirmed that it is ready and willing to pay the fine.
A press release by 888 reads:Quote
“The settlement relates to the period when William Hill was under the previous ownership and management. After William Hill was acquired, the company quickly addressed the identified issues with the implementation of a rigorous action plan.”
The company recognises that the past failure of the organisation was severe and an ongoing long-term problem, noting that its role moving forward is to make sure that William Hill "does better".
Richard Williams noted:Quote
“The Gambling Commission has indicated that the regulatory position at William Hill has improved significantly since 888 took over the business. Time will tell whether the expanded business has taken steps to finally resolve these issues.”
They are specifically looking at how the operator can work with the UKGC to support its efforts in setting new standards for compliance nationwide. It has also committed to working with the regulator to ensure that the company never again puts British players at risk again by allowing money laundering and AML failures to occur.
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