Star Sports Fined Six-Figures Over UK Policy Problems

July 14, 2023
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Racing-focused bookmaker Star Sports has been penalised more than half a million pounds by the UK Gambling Commission over social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings.

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Racing-focused bookmaker Star Sports has been penalised more than half a million pounds by the UK Gambling Commission over social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) failings.

The UK-headquartered gambling operator, which is licensed under the name Star Racing Limited, is to pay £594,000 after a series of policy failings were identified by the regulator.

The commission said Star had infective AML policies and controls when it was investigated between March 2020 and May 2021.

It also said that the operator was allowing high-spending bettors to deposit large amounts of money before it conducted source of funds checks on those customers.

Star also failed to properly analyse the source of funds information it did collect, the commission said.

In its social responsibility policies, the Gambling Commission said Star's problems included not demonstrating an understanding of the impact effectiveness of customer interactions to minimise customer risk.

However, unlike some of its recent and more financially punishing fines, the commission’s statement did not cite any specific examples of suspected money laundering or harm caused to customers by gambling.

Star received an official warning alongside its penalty payment and has a condition attached to its licence requiring it “to conduct risk based due diligence on the third parties it transacts with”.

Among the commission’s brief description of how Star breached its licence conditions, the regulator said it had not complied with a requirement that “operators based in foreign jurisdictions comply with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information of the Payer) Regulations 2017”.

As well as its online presence, Star operates betting shops in London’s high-end Mayfair district. The company specialises in catering to high-rolling bettors alongside its mass-market offering.

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