A major glitch in the mobile app of William Hill saw them take more than 42,000 duplicate bets….netting around £650,000 from the fault.
And yet, the Nevada Gaming Commission – the governing body covering the Las Vegas jurisdiction – decided to fine them just $100,000….or around £93,000 in rapidly-dwindling in value Pound Sterling.
The errors occurred as part of their CBS Race and Sportsbook mobile platform in the United States. During a six-year period between 2015 and 2021, a staggering 42,000 duplicate betslips were taken, with 13,000 of them winners – costing Hills an extra $1.3 million (£1.2 million) in losses that they didn’t need to fork out.
But the other 29,000 bets were settled as losers, and netted the firm a handsome $2 million (£1.85 million) in ill-gotten gains.
As a gesture of goodwill, William Hill paid out in full on all the winning bets that were duplicated, and paid back those customers who had lost twice or more on the same bet.
However, Hills representatives admitted that they haven’t been able to refund all of their out-of-pocket customers as part of the legal hearing held in front of Commission regulators.
The case mirrors that of another American betting firm, CG Technology, who were fined by the Commission for a similar set of software flaws back in 2018. Ironically, William Hill purchased CG Technology just two years later.
The Nevada Gaming Commission set to work examining what had gone wrong, and their conclusion – in conjunction with an internal review by William Hill chiefs – was that the duplicated bets were usually accepted during the busiest times due to a flaw in their mobile software, which saw punters hit the ‘confirm bet’ button multiple times when the app/site was slow to respond.
The regulator stated their view that William Hill was ‘too slow’ to admit to the error, although the paltry fine is mere loose change compared to the sanctions metered out by the UK Gambling Commission.
Hills were fined a whopping £6.2 million by the regulator last year for a series of responsibility breaches, and their subsidiary brand Mr Green was also hit with a penalty of £3 million after similar offences in their native Sweden.
It’s not been the best of times for William Hill, who have now been taken over by the 888 brand in the UK and Europe.
They were also brought out by Caesars Entertainment in America, and it was in one of this group’s casinos that William Hill took another financial hit.
A theft of more than $3,300 (£3,050) took place in the William Hill sportsbook at the Red Garter Casino in West Wendover, Nevada, and it later transpired that a Hills cashier had taken the money and then placed a series of bets with their haul.
However, it took a full month before any member of staff at the venue noticed the theft and reported it – that tardiness also saw William Hill fined by the Nevada Gaming Commission.