888 Holdings faces record UKGC fine of over £20m
The UKGC is set to impose a record-breaking fine on 888 holding companies after an investigation revealed failures to comply with anti-money laundering regulations. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Monsters good at cards
Online gambling operator 888 Holdings faces a record fine from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) following an investigation into the company’s anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.
Set aside £15m ($17m) to cover the penalty
According to the Daily Mayl, the global betting giant has set aside £15m ($17m) to cover the fine. Industry sources said so, however post The fine could exceed £20m ($23m), which would surpass Paddy Powers £17m ($20m) as a record UK gambling fine.
While the UKGC remains silent on the potential fine, industry insiders say an official announcement is imminent. Keystone Law’s Richard Williams said the situation does not bode well for companies that have not learned from past mistakes, even if the alleged mistakes are related to previous owners of William Hill.
Shares of the company fell 0.9% after news of the pending fine
The looming fine is driving a deadly stake into 888’s already bleeding vitals. Share prices have fallen a staggering 85% since September 2021, a shape that will see the company being kicked out of the FTSE 250 this month.
888’s stunning collapse was sparked by the £1.95 billion ($2.31 billion) purchase of William Hill from Caesars Entertainment in May. Fast forward to November, however, and banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co have returned to the market to down $417 million of the 888 debt they incurred to fund the William Hill buyout by selling it to investors.
888 now owns more than 1,000 William Hill shops as well as online sports betting, poker and casino sites.
The UK industry is also awaiting the long-delayed Gambling White Paper which could bring market-changing changes.
888 also faces more fire over other regulatory issues, including an internal probe into money laundering on VIP accounts in the Middle East. The company has since suspended its VIP customer accounts in the Middle East.
CEO Itai Pazner left the ship
Last month, CEO Itai Pazner abandoned ship upon learning of the Middle East investigation, leaving Lord Mendelsohn, the group’s chairman, to handle day-to-day operations as an interim measure.
In the most aggressive market of all, US sports betting, 888 has fared no better, having followed the path of MaximBet, Fubo and Unibet when it announced in November that it was withdrawing from the sports-only states.
The companys the annual results are due at the end of March.
https://www.vegasslotsonline.com/news/2023/03/09/888-facing-record-ukgc-fine-of-20m-according-to-reports/ 888 Holdings faces record UKGC fine of over £20m