William Hill Under Scrutiny After Providing Invalid Data to Regulator
William Hill is in hot water after supplying incorrect data information to the Gambling Commission involving COVID-19 and gambler betting habits.
William Hill is a popular bookmaker offering gambling services in several regions around the world. The provider is known for its sports betting operations, especially in the United Kingdom. Just recently, the company came under fire after sending in the wrong data to the Gambling Commission regarding the impact that COVID-19 has had on its patrons. The regulator was not happy with the development and William Hill will most likely be fined for the error.
Since March 2020, the Gambling Commission has been diligent regarding gambling and the possibly that patrons will become addicted due to COVID-19 lockdowns. The regulators felt that people would get bored and start to gamble and eventually this would become an issue. Regular updates have been published by the regulator which help operators know how to function to keep their customers safe.
An update was published in late December that the Gambling Commission said had incorrect data produced by William Hill. The data spanned from March 2020 to September 2021, a long-time frame in which to provide insufficient data.
All the data then had to be reanalyzed and the information will not be made public until February of this year. The bulletins produced by the Gambling Commission use information provided by gambling firms in the UK with about 80% of the info provided directly by the company.
The firms are seen as many data points for academics as well as health care workers that are trying to assess how the pandemic might be related to the gambling industry in a negative way. The commission is now trying to figure out how William Hill will be punished for the action.
The regulator can choose to suspend or revoke the operator’s license, but usually only goes that route in extreme cases of violations. Usually, the Commission will reach a financial settlement with companies that break licensing agreement or regulations.
Lockdown Spurs More Gambling
Findings from a poll found that players were gambling more in the UK during the lockdowns. Even though there was a lack of sporting fixtures for quite some time, it still didn’t stop regular gamblers from betting more than they normally would.
Those who focused on sports betting moved towards online casino games, which are considered a riskier product when it comes to addiction. In the survey conducted at the height of the pandemic, it found that betting was taking place more often with an increase in activity for almost 30% of those surveyed.
Of those questioned, around 41% that said they bet opened a new account for online gaming since the pandemic happened. This percentage showed that people were turning to gambling as a form of entertainment.
Because of this survey and others, the Gambling Commission increased its awareness of COVID-19 and how it connects to the gambling industry. The regulator wants every operator to adhere to rules and regulations and ensure that players are safe when accessing betting options. Precautions should be taken and if a player seems to have an issue, the operator needs to mediate.
With William Hill breaking the data protocol and offering inaccurate information, the Gambling Commission may decide to be even stricter on operators as the pandemic is not going anywhere. It will be interesting to see how the regulator decides to act against the operator and what will happen regarding future restrictions or requirements based on the company’s actions.