Mr Green fined €3.1m for responsible gambling failings in Sweden

Mr Green said some of the failings were due to a technical problem.
Mr Green said some of the failings were due to a technical problem.

The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has hit William Hill’s Mr Green with two separate penalty fees.

Sweden.- The national gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has issued two warnings and penalty fees against Mr Green for breaches of know-your-customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML) and responsible gambling rules.

Together the penalty fees, which are based on the severity of the offence and the operator’s revenue, total SEK31.5m (€3.1m).

Spelinspektionen warned that Mr Green’s knowledge of the audited customers was insufficient and that it may revoke the operator’s Swedish licence if failures continue.

The largest fee of SEK30m relates to breaches of the operator’s duty of care on responsible gambling. A second warning and related penalty of SEK1.5m were issued for AML and KYC failings.

Spelinspektionen launched a review of Mr Green’s AML measures after receiving complaints in November 2019. It inspected 15 customer accounts, including accounts belonging to customers that Mr Green had reported to Sweden’s financial police.

Spelinspektionen said the fact that Mr Green had reported the accounts showed the operator had suspicions about possible money laundering.

The regulator noted that one customer had made deposits totalling SEK39.3m and had lost SEK3.2m despite having a declared income that hardly covered the loss. However, Mr Green had decided not to take further action to investigate possible money laundering after the customer stopped playing.

Spelinspektionen also audited five customers due to responsible gambling measures. It found that Mr Green had attempted to contact all five by email or phone due to increases in their gambling activity but that one customer had made several deposits per day on multiple occasions and had lost more than their announced taxable income for several years.

Mr Green eventually closed these customers’ accounts, but Spelinspektionen said the operator had not made sufficient contact with them to ensure they were gambling with their own funds and doing so responsibly.

Mr Green responded that some customers suspected of money laundering had not been identified due to technical problems with a new detection system that had failed to issue warnings over high-risk customers. It said the new automated system had identified a larger number of customers than expected and had placed customers in a queue according to level of risk, resulting in delays. 

It added that it was now using a better case management system to help perform risk assessments and that it has increased its number of money laundering investigators to manage the increase.

Last Month, Spelinspektionen warned three companies for breaching guidance on the information that operators must display on their websites.

It found that the companies had breached section 17 of its gaming regulations since they failed to include information about deposit limits and options for self-exclusion and measuring time of play in the logout sections of their sites.

Meanwhile, a survey suggested a rise in the use of unlicensed gaming sites in Sweden.

Of 3,208 people who responded to the regulator’s latest survey, 7 per cent said they had used a site that wasn’t licensed in Sweden. That’s a rise of four percentage points from the last time the regulator carried out such a survey.See also:Swedish court rejects operators’ appeals over betting on underage athletes

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