July 13, 2023
In an unprecedented regulatory move, gambling operator Star Racing Limited has been imposed a hefty £594,000 fine for lapses in anti-money laundering and social responsibility standards. The penalty comes as part of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission's crackdown on firms that have failed to adhere to their regulatory obligations.
Star Racing Limited, trading as Star Sports, also faces an official warning from the regulatory body and has had additional conditions added to its operating licence.
The alleged failures primarily pertain to the inadequate policies, procedures, and controls in place to prevent money laundering. The operator reportedly allowed customers to deposit substantial amounts without procuring adequate information about the source of funds. In instances where such information was obtained, the operator failed to perform the required analysis.
Furthermore, the operator is reported to have breached social responsibility code provisions by failing to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the impacts and effectiveness of customer interactions in minimising customer risk.
The period under scrutiny spans from March 2020 to May 2021. The decision on the penalties was made on April 4, 2023, following an extensive review of the operator’s license.
As per the Commission's Licensing, Compliance and Enforcement policy statement, the Indicative Sanctions Guidance, and the Statement of Principles for Determining Financial Penalties, Star Racing Limited has been subjected to the following sanctions:
- A financial penalty of £594,000 under section 121(1) of the Act 2005.
- A formal warning under section 117(1)(a) of the Act.
- The attachment of additional conditions to its operating license under section 117(1)(b) of the Act. These require the operator to conduct risk-based due diligence on third parties it transacts with.
Star Racing Limited, whose domain names include mobile.starsportsbet.com, starsports.bet, starsportsbet.co.uk, and starsportsbet.com, remains active despite the ongoing situation.
Trading as Star Sports, the company has been offering remote bingo and casino services since June 2018, along with general betting services on real and virtual events since July 2010, as per their licensing details.
The company is based at Star House, 255 Old Shoreham Road, Hove, BN3 7ED, United Kingdom.
The Gambling Commission encourages individuals who come across any suspicious or illegal gambling activities to report through their confidential reporting page. It also advises customers who have complaints about gambling transactions or services to first address the issue with the relevant gambling business.
As the regulatory body clamps down on compliance issues, the £594,000 fine sends a strong message to the gambling industry about the necessity of maintaining the highest standards of anti-money laundering and customer protection practices.
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