The UK Gambling Commission has fined 888 Holdings again in the United Kingdom for a series of failures that puts its entire operation at risk in the United Kingdom. This news comes hot on the information that 888 has sold its Dragonfish Bingo subsidiary.
Social Responsibility & AML Failures
It is the second time that 888 Holdings has gotten fined for regulatory failings. This time the findings centre around the failure of the gambling company to ensure that players were able to afford the gambling they undertook during the 1st wave of the pandemic. In addition, Anti Money Laundering rules did not get adhered to.
The Gambling Commission highlighted some players where inadequate checks had taken place concerning the amount spent and the player’s earnings. Yes, you have read that correctly. The Gambling Commission wants companies to now police the internet by asking all sorts of affordability questions from players. However, it does not provide any complex guidance on the matter as far as we can tell.
If you are an Accountant, you will be “allowed” to gamble for much more than if you are a Cashier at a Supermarket. If you don’t want to answer these invasive questions, you will not be allowed to continue playing at that venue, but you can hop onto another bingo site where these questions will not get asked. This social responsibility is nonsensical, as players are currently doing precisely that.
In this instance, 888 Holdings has been fined £9.4 Million and has received a warning about behaviour and that it will be subject to additional auditing measures. It has also gotten warned that this will impact its continued presence in the UK Gambling market. We also think they deserve the fine as the company’s actions during a period where additional care should have gotten focused on player behaviour did not happen. Allowing a person to gamble well beyond their means is unforgivable.
888 Holdings Purchase William Hill
The UKGC ruling comes when 888 Holdings has finalised its purchase of William Hill outside of the United States. Given that it has recently disposed of its Dragonfish Bingo subsidiary and launched this successful takeover, we assume that 888 will be putting a lot more effort into remaining compliant. However, as it is a PLC, it must follow each country’s rules. It will also impact its activities in the USA as it appears they are pivoting towards that market. If they were to lose their license to operate in the United Kingdom, many States in the USA would not view them in a favourable light.
888 Holdings have accepted the fine and promised to improve compliance around the factors they got fined for. The UKGC, therefore, receives a stack of cash and leaves us wondering if they then take this cash and give it back to players?