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Spelinspektionen fines Mr Green €3m for AML neglect

Sweden’s gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen has fined Mr Green penalties totalling SEK 31.5 million (€3m) after citing that the William Hill subsidiary had failed to match its AML and customer care duties.

Providing an overview of its assessment, Spelinspektionen fined Mr Green SEK 1.5 million (€140,000) for failing to maintain its customer reporting duties as a requirement of the ‘Money Laundering Act’ – whose rules are applied within Sweden’s reformed Gambling Act 2018. A larger SEK 30 million (€2.9m) fine was issued to the operator in light of customer care failures, as Mr Green teams were deemed to have not undertaken ‘sufficient measures to help customers reduce their gambling spend’ as customer issues were clearly visible. Spelinspektionen’s casework provided details on 15 customers that displayed problematic behaviours or AML criminal intent engaging with Mr Green between the period of January 2019 to June 2020. The customers’ interactions were made available to Spelinspektionen by JIRA factsheets maintained by Mr Green as a requisite of its Swedish online gambling licence. AML shortcomings saw Mr Green process multi-million SEK deposits for individual customers that could not provide any source of fund (SOF) documentation. Spelinspektionen also cited an instance where a Mr Green customer was allowed to continue to gamble despite having spent ‘six times his reported salary’. Meanwhile, conducting background checks, Spelinspektionen uncovered that several customers had either clearly falsified their financial records or had previous criminal convictions related to money laundering and tax offences. Customer care interactions were disclosed by Spelinspektionen in which Mr Green was deemed to have only carried out interventions requiring customers to set their individual depositing limits. Mr Green issued a response to Spelinspektionen casework, stating that all player accounts had been opened when its business was regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority and prior to the launch of Sweden’s re-regulated online gambling marketplace at the start of 2019. During the reporting period, Mr Green noted that it was in the process of overhauling its internal customer care reporting systems to be in-line with Spelinspektionen requirements. Mr Green acknowledged its AML shortcomings but added that the majority of transactions had been processed by Swedish bank transfers that co-shared a duty to monitor risks. Spelinspektionen SEK 30 million fine was set by the Swedish Tax Authority’s assessment of Mr Green reported earnings during 2019-to-2020.

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