888, William Hill’s ownership company, released a statement regarding the fine imposed by the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission. As the group had previously announced, it is prepared to take responsibility for its subsidiary’s past failures.
Earlier today, the UKGC slammed the British operator with a £19.2 million ($23.67 million), the largest penalty it has ever handed to an operator in the UK.
The fine stems from William Hill’s past failings. Between 2020 and 2021, the British gambling company breached many social responsibility and anti-money laundering regulations. The investigation found William Hill guilty of not providing customers with sufficient safeguards, allowing new players to lose thousands of pounds in a single sitting and failing to check the source of funds of its customers, among other breaches.
The regulator said that had even considered suspending William Hill’s license but decided not to because of the operator’s cooperation and willingness to improve its practices.
888 Will Make Sure William Hill Does Better
Despite its recent struggles, 888, which acquired William Hill last year, said that it is prepared to pay the regulatory settlement and has set enough money aside in its accounts.
A spokesperson from the 888 emphasized that William Hill will do better under the new management and will follow a strict plan to address its past failings:
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 spokesperson added that the entire 888 shares the UKGC’s commitment to improving compliance standards across Britain’s gaming industry. As a result, 888 vowed to continue working closely with the regulator and other stakeholders to prevent future violations.
A Brief History of 888’s Acquisition of William Hill
888 acquired William Hill from Caesars Entertainment for approximately $2.5 billion. The deal, approved by almost all of 888’s stakeholders, had to be amended because of changes to the macroeconomic and regulatory landscape before closing. Soon after the acquisition, 888 introduced major changes to William Hill’s team, appointing new executives to oversee the business.
888 was always prepared to cover the fine. Despite that, the regulatory settlement comes at a somewhat inconvenient time for the company, which has been experiencing various hurdles over the past few months. The company’s latest financial reports highlighted the continuous declines in certain metrics. At the same time, the company faces regulatory problems in Austria and Gibraltar.