U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Type of Action:
SEC Administrative Proceeding
Docket or Case Number:
Name of Prosecuting Attorneys:
US Assisting Agencies: Unknown
Foreign Enforcement Action/Investigation: Unknown
Foreign Assisting Agencies: Unknown
Origin of the Proceeding:
Flutter Entertainment plc ("Flutter"), an online gaming and sports betting company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, was the successor-in-interest to The Stars Group, Inc., which was a Canadian online gaming company. Prior to its acquisition in May 2020 by Flutter, The Stars Group's shares were registered with the SEC and traded on the NASDAQ.
According to the documents in this case, between May 26, 2015 and May 15, 2020, The Stars Group paid approximately $8.9 million to consultants in Russia as part of the company's efforts to have poker legalized in that country. However, The Stars Group failed to maintain a sufficient system of internal accounting controls over its Russian operations, especially with respect to third party consultants. The Stars Group retained some of the consultants in Russia without performing adequate due diligence or creating written contracts, and the company paid the consultants without adequate proof of services. Additionally, The Stars Group inaccurately recorded certain payments to a consulting company as lobbying fees.
In a settled administrative proceeding initiated on March 6, 2023, the SEC ordered Flutter, as the successor-in-interest to The Stars Group, to cease and desist violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA and further ordered the company to pay a civil fine of $4 million. The SEC noted Flutter's cooperation and remediation.
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