Star Racing to pay £594,000 UKGC penalty for AML & SR failings


Star Racing is to pay a £594,000 financial penalty after the UK Gambling Commission discovered anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures.

In addition, the betting and gaming group, whose domains include StarSports and McBookie, which it operates and manages, will receive an official warning and have additional conditions added to its licence.

The regulator found that Star Racing breached paragraphs two and three of licence condition 12.1.1, which concerns the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as condition 12.1.2. This requires operators based in foreign jurisdictions to comply with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information of the Payer) Regulations 2017.

Paragraphs one and two of social responsibility code provision 3.4.1 were also violated, which mandate licensees to interact with customers in a way which minimises the risk of customers experiencing harms associated with gambling, and to take into account the guidance on such interaction.

Among the AML shortcomings identified were having ineffective policies, procedures and controls in place at the time of the compliance assessment.

This, the UKGC noted, permitted customers to deposit large amounts before source of funds information was obtained, in addition failing to analyse such data upon doing so.

Social responsibility failures included not demonstrating an understanding of the impact and effectiveness of customer interactions in terms of the minimisation of customer risk.

As a result of failings, which occurred between March 2020 and May 2021, the aforementioned action has been taken. Additional licence conditions will require Star Racing to conduct risk based due diligence on the third parties it transacts with.

This becomes the latest in a slew of financial penalties handed down by the UKGC this year, with Videoslots, via a $2m penalty, and SkillOnNet (£305,150) among the latest to fall foul.

Earlier in the year, 888 vowed to continue collaborative efforts alongside the regulator after the William Hill Group received a record £19.2m penalty for an array of social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. 

The financial punishment, which surpassed the £17m issued to Entain last year, saw Mr Green pay £3.7m, while William Hill’s online business penalised £12.5m and a further £3m was aligned to the company’s retail operations.

This followed 10bet’s £620,000 penalty package, Intouch Games being handed down a financial penalty of £6.1m, a third in four years; TonyBet being penalised £442,750 and Vivaro, trading as VBet, making payments in lieu of a penalty package of £337,631. The Commission also penalised the Kindred Group’s Unibet and 32Red brands a combined £7.1m.