Print Article

William Hill Group businesses to pay record £19.2m for failures


Three gambling businesses owned by William Hill Group will pay a total of £19.2 million for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

WHG (International) Limited, which runs, will pay £12.5 million, Mr Green Limited, which runs, will pay £3.7 million and William Hill Organization Limited, which operates 1,344 gambling premises across Britain, will pay £3 million.

Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission chief executive, said: “When we launched this investigation the failings we uncovered were so widespread and alarming serious 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.”

Today’s action comes just a week after the Commission fined two operators owned by Kindred Group plc a combined £7.2 million and is the largest enforcement case taken on by the regulator. The previous largest was £17 million action taken against Entain in August last year.

Since the start of 2022 the Commission has concluded 26 enforcement cases with operators paying over £76 million because of regulatory failures.

Mr Rhodes said: “In the last 15 months we have taken unprecedented action against gambling operators, but we are now starting to see signs of improvement. There are indications that the industry is doing more to make gambling safer and reducing the possibility of criminal funds entering their businesses.

“Operators are using algorithms to spot gambling harms or criminal risk more quickly, interacting with consumers sooner, and generally having more effective policies and procedures in place.”

Social responsibility failures at William Hill businesses include:

    • Having insufficient controls in place to protect new customers, and to effectively consider high velocity spend and duration of play until the customer may have been exposed to the risk of substantial losses in a short period:
      • One customer was allowed to open a new account and spend £23,000 in 20 minutes without any checks.
      • Another customer was allowed to open an account and spend £18,000 in 24 hours without any checks.
      • And a third customer was allowed to open a new account and spend £32,500 over two days without any checks. (Mr Green)
    • Failing to identify certain customers at risk of experiencing gambling related harm and failing to carry out checks at an early stage in the customer's journey – one customer lost £14,902 in 70 minutes. (Mr Green)
    • Failing to identify risk of harm or intervene with certain customers earlier enough – one customer lost £54,252 in four weeks without the operator seeking income evidence, carrying out adequate checks, or using any other effective method to identify risk of harm. (WHG (International) Limited)
    • Having insufficient controls which exposed new or returning customers to the risk of substantial losses in a short period of time – one customer opened his account and lost £11,400 over the first 30 days without being subject to sufficient checks and another customer did not have a telephone interaction until losses reached £45,800. (WHG (International) Limited)
    • Failing to apply a 24-hour delay between receiving a request for an increase in a credit limit and granting it – one customer was allowed to immediately place a £100,000 bet when his credit limit had been set at £70,000. (WHG (International) Limited)
    • Ineffective controls allowed 331 customers to gamble with WHG (International) Limited despite having self-excluded with Mr Green. (WHG (International) Limited)
    • Failing to identify changes in the customer behaviour which should have provoked consideration of whether the customer was experiencing harm – a safer gambling interaction was conducted only after he had placed and had accepted an £18,000 bet (William Hill Organisation Ltd (WH Retail))
    • Having insufficient controls in place to protect new customers, and to effectively consider high velocity spend and duration of play until the customer may have been exposed to the risk of substantial losses in a short period:
      • After its retail premise re-opened following the Covid pandemic lockdown, the operator allowed one customer to lose £10,600 in two days without a safer gambling interaction.
      • Despite being unknown and staking £42,253 in 130 bets over a three-day period, staff did not identify one customer as being at risk of experiencing harms associated with gambling or undertake any customer interactions. (William Hill Organisation Ltd (WH Retail))

Anti-money laundering (AML) failures include:

  • Allowing customers to deposit large amounts without conducting appropriate checks – one customer was able to spend and lose £70,134 in a month, another to lose £38,000 in five weeks and another to lose £36,000 in four days. (WHG (International) Limited)
  • Allowing customers to deposit large amounts without conducting appropriate checks – one customer deposited £73,535 and lost £14,068 in four months (Mr Green)
  • Customers were able to stake large amounts of money without being monitored or scrutinised to a high enough standard – the operator failed to request Source of Funds (SoF) evidence when one customer staked £19,000 in a single bet, did not obtain documentation from a customer who staked £39,324 and lost £20,360 in 12 days, and did not obtain SoF evidence from a customer who staked £276,942 and lost £24,395 over two months. (William Hill Organisation Ltd (WH Retail))
  • Policies, procedures and controls lacked guidance on appropriate action to take following the results of customer profiling and how its findings should be used to establish the appropriate outcome. (WHG (International) Limited) and (Mr Green)
  • Procedures and controls lacked hard stops to prevent further spend and mitigate against money laundering risks before customer risk profiling is completed. (WHG (International) Limited) and (Mr Green)
  • AML staff training provided insufficient information on risks and how to manage them (WHG (International) Limited) and (Mr Green)

All £19.2 million will be directed towards socially responsible purposes as part of a regulatory settlement.

Additional licence conditions will also be added to ensure a business board member oversees an improvement plan, and that it undergoes a third-party audit to assess that it is effectively implementing its AML and safer gambling policies, procedures and controls.

Details of the failings can be read in the public statements.



The Team

Meet the team of industry experts behind Comsure

Find out more

Latest News

Keep up to date with the very latest news from Comsure

Find out more


View our latest imagery from our news and work

Find out more


Think we can help you and your business? Chat to us today

Get In Touch

News Disclaimer

As well as owning and publishing Comsure's copyrighted works, Comsure wishes to use the copyright-protected works of others. To do so, Comsure is applying for exemptions in the UK copyright law. There are certain very specific situations where Comsure is permitted to do so without seeking permission from the owner. These exemptions are in the copyright sections of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended)[]. Many situations allow for Comsure to apply for exemptions. These include 1] Non-commercial research and private study, 2] Criticism, review and reporting of current events, 3] the copying of works in any medium as long as the use is to illustrate a point. 4] no posting is for commercial purposes [payment]. (for a full list of exemptions, please read here]. Concerning the exceptions, Comsure will acknowledge the work of the source author by providing a link to the source material. Comsure claims no ownership of non-Comsure content. The non-Comsure articles posted on the Comsure website are deemed important, relevant, and newsworthy to a Comsure audience (e.g. regulated financial services and professional firms [DNFSBs]). Comsure does not wish to take any credit for the publication, and the publication can be read in full in its original form if you click the articles link that always accompanies the news item. Also, Comsure does not seek any payment for highlighting these important articles. If you want any article removed, Comsure will automatically do so on a reasonable request if you email