Mr Green faces penalty of £3m for regulatory failures

Simona Boshkova | Published 27 Feb 2020, 10:48 a.m.

Since the UK Gambling Commission’s enforcement activity began, six operators have lost their licences and are no longer able to carry on with their activities. We have recently reported that Addison Global lost its operating licence since they lacked the necessary financial support to meet licencing conditions. As part of the UKGC regulatory actions, Mr Green is supposed to pay £3m to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. According to the Gambling Commission, Mr Green failed to have effective procedures aimed at preventing harm and money laundering.

The Gambling Commission investigated the actions of 22 licence holders. Six of these lost their licences, six received a formal warning, and one received conduct advice. Furthermore, seven of the cases are still ongoing, and there was no further action in two cases. Mr Green is the ninth gambling operator to face a penalty for regulatory failures. It is a part of the UKGC investigation that started in 2018 which resulted in penalties amounting to £20 million.

Mr Green did not carry out its responsibilities

Mr Green is an online gambling company owned by William Hill. Since its launch in 2008, the company has been offering online games from various operators, as well as to create a seamless wallet solution. However, due to its failure to deliver its responsibilities as a gambling company, Mr Green will pay £3m to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

The UK Gambling Commission said that as a result of Mr Green’s failures, the company did not carry out social responsibility interaction with a customer who won £50,000, who then gambled it and then deposited more money. Moreover, Mr Green took ten-year-old payout evidence of £176,000 as satisfactory evidence of source of funds for a customer who deposited more than £1m. What’s more, the company accepted a photograph of a laptop screen that shows currency in dollars on an alleged crypto trading account as a proper source of funds.

These actions led the UKGC to accuse Mr Green of regulatory failures. Richard Watson, the Executive Director of the UKGC, said that their investigation discovered systemic failures of the social responsibility and AML controls of Mr Green. This affected a lot of customers through its online casinos. Watson added that the online casino customers in Britain have the right to know that they are safe and secure while playing games and that there are checks and balances in place. For that reason, the UKGC will continue with their investigation to expose all operators which fail to do that.

UKGC strategy to reduce gambling harm

The UK Gambling Commission has an ongoing strategy for reducing gambling harm. The online casino enforcement is a part of that. Recently, the Commission discussed digital challenges to make gambling safer. So far, the UKGC strategy includes strengthening online age and identity verification and improving rules and guidance of identifying customers who may be at risk of harm. In addition, the Commission is pushing the gambling industry to increase the standards in the areas of game design, advertising technology, and VIP practices.

All gambling operators are advised by the UKGC to read the Mr Green Limited Public Statement in order to avoid making the same mistakes as Mr Green.

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