Back to the Drawing Board for Gambling Commission Pandemic Data

Gambling Commission Pandemic Data

All is not well between the Gambling Commission and William Hill due to the provision of incorrect data. As the pandemic has progressed, there’s been a great deal of interest in how it has affected our gambling habits. With High Street bookmakers, casinos and bingo clubs closed during lockdowns, more people went online to gamble.

The Gambling Commission have published Covid-19 gambling data since March 2020. It gave regular updates on how major gambling companies such as William Hill were being affected by the lockdowns and the affects on levels of gambling harm.

Their regular statistics have been seen by academics and health workers as an important source of information. Now they must accept that the statistics just aren’t accurate. On December 23, 2021, this led the Gambling Commission to announce that people should “exercise caution” when analysing the data. This is due to “incorrect information” being supplied by “an operator.” The incorrect data came from William Hill, and they are now in hot water with the Gambling Commission.

Information that was supplied between March 2020 and September 2021 included incorrect datapoints. This has led to the Gambling Commission having to work on correcting their published data.

It’s expected the changed information will be published next month. The Gambling Commission are also carrying out a review of any “regulatory consequences of William Hill’s failure to submit accurate data.”

The Gambling Commission have the power to either suspend or revoke the licence of operators. This only happens in extreme cases, but they have issued many fines in the past year or so. For example, Buzz Group Ltd, who operate were fined £780,000 for social responsibility and money laundering failures.

2018 saw William Hill fined £6.2 million by the Gambling Commission. That was also for failing in their duty to protect consumers and prevent any money laundering.

2021 saw William Hill be sold to US casino operator Caesars Entertainment. They promptly put the non-US assets up for sale and those are heading to 888 Holdings at a reported cost of £2.2 billion. It had been expected that the deal would be concluded in the first quarter of 2022. Now it seems that it’ll be the second quarter when this happens.

888 recently agreed to sell their bingo business to Broadway Gaming Group’s Saphalata Holdings for $54 million. This will allow them to focus more on their sports, casino, and poker assets.
They will be hoping therefore that the problems William Hill have with the Gambling Commission will be sorted out before they take control. 888 are also no strangers to the wrath of the Gambling Commission after being fined £7.8 million for failing to protect vulnerable customers.