In the United Kingdom and online casino operator Mr Green Limited has been ordered to pay a £3 million ($3.86 million) penalty for failing to adequately implement problem gambling and anti-money laundering controls.
According to an official press release from the Gambling Commission regulator, the Maltese firm has now become the ninth licensed iGaming enterprise it has fined as part of an ongoing regulatory probe that has so far resulted in punishment packages amounting to more than £20 million ($25.76 million).
Headquartered in the Valletta suburb of Sliema, Mr Green Limited is licensed by regulators in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and Malta while its parent was purchased by British sportsbetting giant William Hill in 2018 as part of an around £242 million ($316 million) deal. This move had been seen as a way for the London-listed buyer to secure an iGaming base in the European Union following Brexit although it was forced to shutter the sportsbook tied to its acquisition’s Germany-facing virtual casino in January citing ‘recent gambling regulatory changes.’
Mr Green is responsible for the United Kingdom-friendly domain at MrGreen.com but moreover recently asked its affiliates to stop promoting this site’s online and live casino services to British players due to ‘recent changes in compliance.’
In ordering Mr Green to pay the fine, the Gambling Commission stated that the operator had ‘failed to have effective procedures aimed at preventing harm and money laundering’ for the four years from November of 2014 when it came to three high-value players. The regulator detailed that these had included one punter who had been allowed to win and then gamble away some £50,000 ($64,466) despite carrying losses of around £210,000 ($270,837).
Richard Watson, Executive Director for the Gambling Commission, explained that the penalty against Mr Green also related to a customer who had been allowed to gamble over £1 million ($1.28 million) after using ten-year-old evidence of a £176,000 ($226,925) claims payout as sole proof of sufficient collateral. He pronounced that there had furthermore been the case of a third punter who had utilized a screenshot of his crypto-trading account as evidence of funds despite a supplementary bank statement showing questionable transactions worth about £57,000 ($73,429).
Read a statement from Watson…
“Our investigation uncovered systemic failings in respect of both Mr Green Limited’s social responsibility and anti-money laundering controls, which affected a significant number of customers across its online casinos. Consumers in Britain have the right to know that there are checks and balances in place that 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.”