Australia considers bill on bets with stolen money

The bill was introduced by MP Andrew Wilkie.
The bill was introduced by MP Andrew Wilkie.

The bill could force casinos to compensate victims of gambling fraud when a patron is found guilty of having placed bets with stolen funds.  

Australia.- Independent member of Parliament Andrew Wilkie has introduced a bill that aims to make casinos liable for taking bets made with stolen money.  

The bill entitled Making Gambling Businesses Accountable was introduced into the Federal Parliament stipulates that if a patron is found guilty of gambling with stolen property, the gambling operator should compensate the victim of the original crime.  

If passed, it would be added as an amendment to Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.  

Wilkie is backed by the former financial adviser Gavin Fineff, who is known in Australia for having stolen AU$8.4 million (US$5.6 million) from his clients to gamble. They are now jointly calling for laws to force gambling companies to return stolen money to its original owner. 

According to Wilkie, the move would “prevent gambling companies from profiting from stolen money and enables the Federal Court to order a gambling company to return stolen money to victims.” 

The MP wrote on his Twitter account: “This bill targets the unconscionable conduct of gambling companies, to ensure that all money they receive from gamblers has not been obtained at the misfortune of innocent parties.

“The gambling companies were not innocent here; they engaged in predatory behaviour to keep Gavin gambling and dragged their feet on questioning where the millions were coming from.” 

He claims that reducing gambling harm in Australia must also mean finding a solution for innocent victims of gambling fraud.

He said: “We must have a mechanism in place to repair the damage that results from gambling addiction and protect the innocent. If you buy a stolen car you have to give it back. The same should go for gambling companies returning stolen cash.” 

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australia gambling harm legislation