William Hill’s Evoke Gaming subsidiary ordered to verify Swedish accounts

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The business, which is licensed for Swedish-facing websites such as Redbet.com and Williamhill.se, failed in its duty to ensure that only permanent residents in Sweden were able to register for accounts during the opening months of the licensed Swedish market between 1 January and 31 July 2019.

Evoke has been ordered by Spelinspektionen to take verification measures regarding the customers who validated their accounts manually during this seven-month period and provide all details to the regulator by 9 November.

A Spelinspektionen investigation triggered in 2020 looked at how Evoke had handled the migration of existing customers following the introduction of the new licensing system at the start of 2019.  

Under Evoke’s verification system at the time, some existing customers were able to manually confirm their details and then provide copies of documents for the purpose of ensuring the their identity and address, such as an ID document or recent bill.

According to the Spelinspektionen investigation, no examination was made of the information supplied in the documents against some other sources unless the customer’s risk profile indicated an increased risk from a money laundering perspective. This failure to adequately check documents meant Evoke breached its licensing commitment to ensure that only people permanently residing in Sweden were allowed to register.

The regulator was satisfied by Evoke’s verification system since August 2019, by which registration of new accounts, and validation of old accounts, is only allowed via Trustly’s ‘Pay N Play’, which requires BankID.

Evoke Gaming was one of two MRG subsidiaries, alongside Mr Green, to be granted a Swedish licence back in December 2018. William Hill subsequently acquired MRG in early 2019.

Last month, William Hill-owned operator Mr Green was issued with two separate warnings and penalty fees totalling SEK31.5m (£2.6m/€3.1m/$3.6m) from Spelinspektionen in relation to KYC, AML and responsible gambling failures.

Spelinspektionen issued the operator with a SEK30m penalty relating to failures in its duty of care with regards to responsible gambling, and a further warning and SEK1.5m penalty for failures in its anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) responsibilities.

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