UK: Mr Green to pay £3m for inadequate harm prevention and AML controls

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For failing to have effective procedures aim at preventing harm and money laundering, an online gaming operator, Mr Green is to pay £3 to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. Richard Watson, Gambling Commission executive director, said investigations found systemic failings in respect of both Mr Green’s social responsibility and AML controls which affected a significant number of customers across its online casinos. In lieu of a financial penalty and Commision costs of £10, 349.77, the settlement agreement consists a payment of £3 payment. The Gambling Commission identified during their investigation, the customers who were able to gamble significant sums of money without adequate enhanced due diligence and source of funds checks being conducted.

A review of the top 120 existing customers of Mr Green revealed that 113 had to be closed as they failed to pass Mr Green’s AML checks. The Licensee has agreed to complete a compliance assessment of the next 130 top customers. Once this is complete it will have assessed all of its top 250 customers (measured by lifetime Gross Gambling Yield). Mr Green, which was acquired by William Hill after these incidents, recognizes that the cases did come with loads of learnings and it has invested in improving its AML and responsible gambling processes. Mr Green is the ninth gambling business to face action as part of a regulator probe that has led to more than £20m in penalty packages since 2018. The online casino enforcement work is in addition to the Commission’s ongoing strategy to make gambling online safer including strengthened online age and identity verification, enhanced rules and guidance on identifying and interacting with customers who may be at risk of harm and the banning of credit cards. The regulator is also pushing the industry to raise standards in the areas of VIP practices, advertising technology and game design, and is currently looking at online stake limits.