GB Gambling Commission Imposes £594,000 Fine on Star Racing for AML and Social Responsibility Failings

OCR Editor. - July 13, 2023
UK Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission has issued a significant fine of £594,000 to Star Racing Limited, trading as Star Sports, for multiple anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility breaches. The Commission identified failings that occurred over a period of more than a year, leading to the penalty and additional licensing conditions.

The GB Gambling Commission has taken decisive action against Star Racing Limited, imposing a fine of £594,000 as a consequence of serious AML and social responsibility failings. The company, which operates under the trading name Star Sports, will also receive an official warning from the Commission and face additional conditions imposed on its license.

During the period from March 2020 to May 2021, Star Racing exhibited several AML shortcomings, including inadequate policies, procedures, and controls. The company allowed customers to make large deposits without obtaining a sufficient source of funds information and failed to analyze the data obtained appropriately. These failures raise concerns about the effectiveness of Star Racing's AML measures.
Furthermore, the Commission found that Star Racing demonstrated a lack of understanding regarding the impact and effectiveness of customer interactions in terms of minimizing the risks associated with gambling, indicating social responsibility failures. These shortcomings undermine the importance of responsible gambling practices and customer protection.

This particular case involves breaches of Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Licence Condition 12.1.1, which pertain to anti-money laundering efforts, and Licence Condition 12.1.2, which mandates that foreign-based operators follow the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017. Star Racing was also found to have violated the Social Responsibility Code Provision (SRCP) 3.4.1, which mandates that licensees interact with customers to reduce the likelihood of harm related to gambling.

In accordance with the Gambling Commission's licensing, compliance, and enforcement policy statement, the regulatory body determined the appropriate penalty and warning. As part of the additional licensing conditions, Star Racing will be required to conduct risk-based due diligence on third-party transactions to ensure compliance with AML regulations and enhance customer protection measures.
The fine and imposed conditions send a clear message to operators in the gambling industry, emphasizing the importance of robust AML procedures and effective social responsibility practices. The Gambling Commission remains committed to ensuring the sector's integrity and safeguarding consumers from potential harm associated with gambling activities.

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