Mr Green Hit With £2.6m From Swedish Regulator
Mr Green has been hit with a £2.6m fine by the Swedish regulator SGA for systematic failings relating to anti-money laundering and duty of care breaches. The operator was found to have not being able to collect “sufficient customer knowledge” of its top depositing customers
The Swedish Gambling Authority has hit online gambling operator Mr Green with a SEK31.5m (£2.6m) for failing to comply with anti-money laundering procedures and duty of care breaches.
The Swedish regulator said the William Hill International brand had not collected “sufficient knowledge” of its customers. As a result, the SGA issued a warning over its choice of anti-money laundering interventions and also issued a £125,000 fine.
“The shortcomings that have been identified regarding customer awareness measures mean that Mr Green has not worked in such a risk-based manner as is prescribed in legislation,” the SGA wrote.
“This has entailed significant risks that Mr Green may have used for money laundering and terrorist financing, which must be considered serious and to some extent systematic,”
For the duty of care breaches, the SGA stated the operator did not make adequate contact with customers who had deposited over SEK10,000 and issued a warning. The regulator said Mr Green violations were serious and systematic and told the company they must pay £2.5m for these violations.
“When assessing the size of the penalty fee, the SGA takes into account the seriousness of the infringements, how long they have lasted, Mr Green’s turnover and the details of Mr Green’s GGR,” the SGA wrote.
“The SGA states that there have been serious breaches of the duty of care in the Gaming Act that have been going on for a long time,” it added.
The Swedish regulator began investigating Mr Green in November due to a complaint it received from one of the company’s customers. The complainant gave information regarding the operator’s top 15 depositing customers.
In five of those cases, Mr Green reported these customers to the country’s financial police for what the SGA called, “suspicion of money laundering”.
When the SGA did an audit of these customers accounts, the regulator found mismanagement of these accounts, including a lack of source of wealth/funds documentation. They also discovered that these customers had been previously convicted of criminal offences and had spent more than the customer’s income.
Responding to the SGA investigation, Mr Green stated that nine of the accounts had been opened under the firm’s Maltese licence before Sweden’s regulated market went live in 2019.
The company also stated a problem with their anti-money laundry software in 2019 resulted in issues with the risk classification on four of the accounts.
Mr Green also blamed human error for delays in obtaining the source of wealth documentation from customers. Patrick Jonker, MD of William Hill International and CEO of Mr Green, said: “Player protection has always been a priority for Mr Green. We are disappointed by the findings as we always seek to operate in full compliance with regulations.”
William Hill International purchased Mr Green in 2019, paying £242m in cash to complete the deal.