Australian casinos investigated over AML compliance

AUSTRAC is investigating SkyCity, Star Entertainment Group and Crown Perth.
AUSTRAC is investigating SkyCity, Star Entertainment Group and Crown Perth.

AUSTRAC is investigating all three casino operators due to potential non-compliance with AML rules.

Australia.- The national financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC has announced it has launched investigations into Australia’s three main casino operators: SkyCity, Star Entertainment Group and Crown Resorts.

It is looking into the operators’ compliance with anti-money laundering laws.

SkyCity confirmed that AUSTRAC is investigating a compliance assessment about how the company managed high-risk and politically exposed customers between July 2015 and June 2016 and between July 2018 and June 2019.

As for Star Entertainment Group, AUSTRAC said it had identified “serious non-compliance regarding ongoing customer due diligence” at Star Sydney.

Both companies have stated they will fully cooperate with the Australian regulator.

Crown Resorts is also being investigated by AUSTRAC regarding compliance breaches at its Perth casino.

The company is already being investigated for cases of money laundering. It currently faces Royal Commissions in Victoria and Western Australia.

As part of Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown Resorts, auditors Deloitte will review almost 50 bank accounts for evidence of suspicious payments potentially linked to money laundering.

According to Perth Now, Deloitte partner Lisa Dobbin said there had been suspicious transactions potentially linked to money laundering at Crown up until at least February of this year

A preliminary report suggested a large sum of money had been divided across 14 accounts to avoid the AU$10,000 disclosure threshold.

As for Western Australia’s Royal Commission, on the second day of its hearings, Gaming and Wagering Commission board member Barry Sargeant said the regulator lacked policies or procedures for dealing with the risks of criminal activity at Crown Resorts.

Sargeant added that GWC would rely on the WA Police and the Australian Federal Police activity despite having the power to order investigations.

His testimony comes after the head of the regulator, Duncan Ord, admitted he had no formal training in casino regulation before assuming the role.

Western Australia’s Royal Commission expects to deliver an internal report by June 30 and a final report by November 14. Victoria’s Royal Commission is expected to report back to the Victorian government by August 1.

In this article:
Crown Perth land-based casino skycity star entertainment