William Hill has been fined a record £19million after the punter spent £23,000 in just 20 minutes
William Hill has been hit with a record fine for allowing punters to lose too much money gambling – with a customer spending £23,000 in just 20 minutes.
The Gambling Commission said the High Street bookmaker had to pay £19.2million for “social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures”.
The penalty – the largest ever imposed by the commission – came after the Mail revealed a record fine was on the way.
Record fine: Gambling Commission says William Hill must pay £19.2m for ‘social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings’
The punishment is for brands having insufficient protections and allowing customers to deposit huge sums of money without performing proper checks on players.
The gambling watchdog imposes obligations on bookmakers to ensure punters gamble responsibly and can impose penalties if standards are not met.
The commission uncovered a series of failures of William Hill’s brands, including their betting shops, williamhill.com and the online casino site Mr Green.
The regulator found that one customer was allowed to open an account and spend £23,000 in 20 minutes without any checks, and another could deposit and lose £70,134 in a month.
William Hill was bought by London-listed 888 gambling group in a £2billion deal last year.
A spokesperson for 888 said: “The settlement relates to the period when William Hill was under previous ownership and management.
After the acquisition of William Hill, the company quickly responded to the issues identified with the implementation of a rigorous action plan”.
But 888 has been in its hot water in recent months after launching an investigation into a failure to follow anti-money laundering processes in the Middle East after its boss unexpectedly resigned in February.
The previous highest fine was £17m against Entain in August last year.
However, Will Prochaska, director of strategy at Gambling With Lives, a charity set up by families bereaved by gambling-related suicide, said yesterday: “Fines will not stop the gambling industry from deliberately exploiting its customers and driving hundreds to suicide each year.’