Mr Green sees SEK 30m Swedish AML penalty appeal rejected 

By | May 13, 2022

Mr Green has had its appeal against Swedish gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen rejected by the Administrative Court of Linköping.

Last Summer, William Hill’s European online gambling subsidiary was fined penalties totalling SEK 31.5 million (€3.1m) by Spelinspektionen for ‘failing to comply with due diligence and AML duties in order to protect customers’.

Spelinspektionen ordered Mr Green to pay a SEK 1.5 million fine for failing to maintain AML reporting standards required by Sweden’s Money Laundering Act.

 Compliance duties of Sweden’s reformed ‘Gambling Act 2018’, require all licensed incumbents to observe the rules of the Money Laundering Act by assisting authorities’ record keeping of financial transactions registered by high-risk business sectors.

A further SEK 30 million fine was imposed as a result of Spelinspektionen casework that highlighted failures/infringements in Mr Green’s customer care duties that were deemed to have ‘insufficient measures to help customers reduce their gambling spend’.

Spelinspektionen’s casework provided details on 15 customers that displayed problematic behaviours or AML criminal intent engaging with Mr Green between the period January 2019 to June 2020.

AML shortcomings saw Mr Green process multi-million SEK deposits for individual customers that could not provide any source of fund (SOF) documentation. Spelinspektionen further cited an instance where a customer was allowed to continue gambling despite ‘spending six times his reported salary’.

Mr Green launched its appeal, contesting that Spelinspektionen casework had applied to player accounts that had been registered

prior to the launch of Sweden’s re-regulated online gambling marketplace in 2019.

At the time of registration, Mr Green’s customer care duties were compliant with the standards of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

Furthermore, the fines were sanctioned during a period in which Mr Green had alerted Spelinspektionen that it was overhauling its internal customer care operations to meet its new Gambling Act requirements.

Mr Green acknowledged its shortcomings but added that the majority of transactions had been processed by Swedish banks that shared a duty to monitor risks and transactions with online gambling businesses.

Charged with reviewing the appeal, the Administrative Court of Linköping agreed with Spelinspektionen original verdict as the inspectorate’s warning and fine was deemed ‘fair and proportionate’ considering the seriousness of infringements by Mr Green.

The court judged that Mr Green ‘had lacked routines regarding the risks of money laundering and that it had violated the Money Laundering Act’s rules on customer knowledge regarding the customers in question’

Spelinspektionen explained: “The court further considered that the company had not fulfilled its obligations under the duty of care regarding the customers in question. The warning was considered a sufficient measure, and the decided sanction fees were considered proportionate.”

 

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