William Hill’s Swedish Subsidiaries Hit with Fines Over License Violations

Posted on: May 23, 2022, 09:37h. 

Last updated on: May 23, 2022, 09:57h.

Mr Green is back on the wrong side of Sweden’s gaming regulator. The William Hill-owned sports betting brand is one of two, along with Evoke Gaming, that will have to pay fines once again for failing to comply with regulations.

The Swedish flag flies in front of the Swedish Parliament. The country continues to formulate its online gaming regime and hold operators like Mr Green and Evoke Gaming accountable when they violate the rules. (Image: Shutterstock)

Both Evoke and Mr Green have failed in their reporting obligation to the Swedish Gambling Authority, Spelinspektionen. The regulator said in a statement that the two have had, for a long time, shortcomings in their reporting. In addition, what they have reported has subsequently turned out to be incorrect.

As such, they will pay a total of SEK1.5 million (US$147,000). That isn’t as much as previous fines, as Mr Green received a fine of over $3 million last year. However, it’s a pattern that doesn’t make the regulator happy.

Consistent and Ongoing Breaches

Spelinspektionen said in its announcement that both companies have now implemented technical solutions to report the data as described in Sweden’s gaming regulations. Therefore, it doesn’t believe either company will breach the requirements again.

Nevertheless, because they had breached their obligations for a “considerable length of time,” the regulator had to take action. As such, it levied the penalties, and both Evoke and Mr Green have already agreed to pay them.

In the decisions against the gaming companies, it appears that Mr Green and Evoke themselves believe that it was technically impossible for them to submit the data correctly earlier. Other operators apparently don’t have this issue, and Spelinspektionen can’t understand why these two don’t already have a sufficient technical solution in place.

Mr Green and Evoke Gaming “have had a long time to make the technical adjustments necessary for the data to be produced and reported correctly,” asserted Spelinspektionen. It noted that Mr Green and Evoke Gaming had breached their reporting obligations on a total of five different occasions.

Spelinspektionen also pointed out that the information received during its supervision does not correspond to previously submitted documentation. The reason for this, according to Mr Green and Evoke, is due to technical errors in combination with the fact that the company has made its own interpretation of the regulations’ issues.

Ongoing Issues With No Resolution

Furthermore, Spelinspektionen wrote that “despite the fact that there are circumstances that speak in a mitigating direction, Mr Green Ltd has breached its obligations under the Gaming Inspectorate’s regulations for a significantly long time.” As a result, it feels that a breach of the requirements cannot be viewed as a minor violation.

Spelinspektionen estimates that the fine will amount to SEK1 million (US$101,700) for Mr Green. Evoke will have to pay SEK450,000 (US$45,765).

Mr Green’s massive fine last year came as Spelinspektionen accused it of serious violations of anti-money-laundering policies. It appealed the fine, but lost its battle a week ago.

In 2020, Mr Green faced a similar fine in the UK for the same reasons. William Hill purchased the platform in 2018 for $308 million. Since then, it has had to spend even more getting it out of trouble.

Mr Green and Evoke may have learned their business protocols from William Hill, or vice versa. The operator could be in trouble with the UK Gambling Commission over reporting issues. This won’t stop 888 Holdings from acquiring the company, but could change the bottom-line valuation of the deal.