In 2022, the gambling operator 888 struck a deal with Caesars Entertainment to acquire all of William Hill’s non-US assets. However, this deal might prove to be disastrous for the former company. Not only were 888’s revenues undermined by the acquisition, but the company now how to face the result of William Hill’s regulation breaches.
This news comes as the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission prepares to slap the British betting brand with a fine that may surpass $18 million, reports claim. Some of the most pessimistic estimates put the maximum fine at almost $24 million.
The fine comes amid a probe into William Hill’s business. The company allegedly violated the anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility protocols required by the UKGC. This wouldn’t be the first time William Hill has breached the rules either, as the company has been previously handed fines for various failings.
William Hill’s failings almost cost it its license in 2022, forcing 888 and Caesars to introduce quick amendments to their deal. A few months later, the British operator faced another $100,000 fine following a regulatory complaint.
888 Faces Many Troubles
The UKGC is not famous for its leniency when it comes to handing out fines. For example, in 2022, the regulator presented Entain with a fine exceeding $20 million. This is by far the biggest fine any UKGC licensee has received. However, 888 should be wary as its William Hill subsidiary might just surpass that record.
According to sources, 888 is already preparing to cover the fine. The parent company itself also isn’t exactly guiltless. It was recently found guilty of breaching various AML and know-your-customer rules in Gibraltar. Despite that, 888 managed to retain its license, as it was highly cooperative with the investigation and committed to transparency.
888 acquired William Hill last year after its shareholders voted in favor of the $2.37 billion deal. Although the holding expected to be set back by the acquisition, it was likely not prepared for the fallout it now has to deal with.
888’s business has been steadily declining for the past few months. Adding up to its woes, the operator was recently found guilty of illegally offering its betting products in Austria. Now, local customers are seeking their money back from the operator. The ongoing situation might cause 888 and Flutter, which has also been found guilty of the same thing, to lose millions of dollars.