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William Hill gambling company Mr Green fined £3m

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An online gambling company owned by William Hill has been fined £3m by regulators for failing to protect problem gamblers and guard against money laundering.

The Gambling Commission said that in one case the site, Mr Green, accepted evidence of a ten-year-old £176,000 claims payout as proof of funds for a customer who deposited £1m.

In another, it failed to freeze the account of a player who gambled away a £50,000 win before depositing thousands more.

The regulator also pointed to a case in which a photograph of a laptop screen showing a sum in dollars, purporting to be a crypto currency trading account, was accepted as proof of funds.

It said Mr Green was the ninth gambling business to face action as part of an investigation into online casinos that has led to more than £20m in penalty packages since 2018.

Richard Watson, executive director of the Gambling Commission, said it had uncovered “systemic failings in respect of both Mr Green’s social responsibility ad AML [anti-money laundering] controls which affected a significant number of customers”.

He added: “Consumers in Britain have the right to know that there are check and balances in place which will help keep them safe and ensure gambling is crime-free – and we will continue to crack down on operators who fail in this area.”

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The fine paid by Mr Green will go to an initiative to prevent problem gambling.

It came as latest financial results from Flutter – owner of Paddy Power and Betfair – showed how the sector was coming under increasing pressure from regulatory changes.

The group said higher taxes in the UK, Ireland and Australia plus a cut in the maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in Britain from £100 to £2 during 2019 had cost it £107m – helping drag overall profits lower.

It also said that a UK ban on the use of credit cards to place bets, introduced last month, would knock up to £17m a year off future earnings.

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