William Hill, one of the UK’s largest bookmakers, have been fined £6.2 million by the Gambling Commission over failing to meet anti-money-laundering regulations and social responsibilities.
William Hill’s failings
The Gambling Commission concluded that 10 customers were able to place wagers with money connected to criminal offences. It’s thought William Hill gained £1.2 million from these bets. The Gambling Commission said the firm didn’t do enough to work out where this money had come from and therefore was in breach of the anti-money-laundering regulations.
Following the fine the Gambling Commission said William Hill ‘failed to mitigate risks and have sufficient numbers of staff to ensure their anti-money-laundering and social responsibility processes were effective.’
Tim Miller, the Gambling Commission executive director told the BBC that William Hill should have been ‘checking the source of money and understanding their customers and ensuring that potentially vulnerable customers are properly protected.’
One customer was able to deposit £541,000 over 14 months. William Hill thought his potential income was £365,000 ‘based on a verbal conversation and without further probing’. It turns out the man’s income was actually £30,000 a year and he stole the gambling money from his employer.
This is just one example out of 10 similar issues!
From William Hill’s point of view, you can see why they didn’t further question the man. They knew they’d make a lot of money, in fact they made over £1.2 million out of the 10 customers. However, operators must comply with anti-money-laundering regulations otherwise they can expect fines.
In my view it shouldn’t come down to the gambling firms to do this. The blame should be put on the gamblers who are stealing money from their employers. However, rules are rules and the Gambling Commission deemed William Hill didn’t meet them.
This penalty comes as the first major fine of 2018, after what was a difficult 2017 for gambling companies. This is the second biggest penalty to date after the Gambling Commission fined 888Sport £7.8 million back in August 2017. Ladbrokes Coral were also fined £2.3 million late last year after failing to stop two gamblers wagering stolen money. A similar issue to what William Hill have been fined for.
Gambling Commission crackdown
Over the last couple of years, the Gambling Commission which operates on behalf of the Government, has come down heavily on gambling operators. With anti-gambling groups and organisations piling on the pressure to ‘clean up’ the industry and make it more transparent, the Government has had to listen up.
According to a report by the Gambling Commission, there are over 2 million people in the UK who are addicted to gambling, with roughly 400,000 of these deemed as problem gamblers. These gamblers place up to 90 bets a day, some of them in the middle of the night. It’s common for them to get themselves into financial difficulty potentially leading to criminal behaviour, similar to this William Hill example.
It’s up to the bookies to spot these issues and stop them before any harm is done. The opposite of what William Hill achieved.
Turn to matched betting
I’m not a gambler. I’m not suggesting you become a gambler and I certainly don’t condone the gambling industry.
Instead I use a risk free betting method called matched betting to make a guaranteed profit from bookies free bets. There is no risk. We use a mathematical formula to calculate our bets to maximise our profit from each matched betting offer
You can potentially make up to £1000 every month with this method and all our earnings are completely tax free. Below are some of the benefits of no risk matched betting.
- It takes very little time – members spend roughly an hour a day
- It’s incredibly profitable – earn up to £1000 each and every month
- Do it from anywhere – there are no physical ties
- It’s great fun – you can place bets on any of your favourite teams
- Beat the bookies – whatever the outcome of the event, you’ll win
Overall, matched betting is a far greater option than gambling in the true sense of the word. Check out our introductory guide to matched betting for more information.
How is matched betting affected?
Any fine, has a significant impact on the company in question and this is no different for William Hill. So far, they’ve managed to steer clear of any fines but it seems the Gambling Commission are out to get all the larger betting operators.
A £6.2 million fine is a fair whack which will significantly hit the bookmaker’s profitability. Therefore you may see a drop in the number of William Hill promotions and free bets as they recover from their fine. Whilst this will affect the amount of profit we make from William Hill in the short term, it shouldn’t impact us in the long run.
Furthermore, there’s plenty of other bookmakers out there that we can profit from.
The gambling industry is experiencing a rough period. Consequently, I’d expect more fines and penalties in the future as the Gambling Commission stamp down their mark on what has been a very liberal industry for a long time.
If betting firms don’t co-operate and abide by the regulations, they can expect fines. In the meantime, why not use matched betting, make a risk free profit online and beat the bookies.
Until next time