Entain faces probe by Australian financial watchdog

AUSTRAC has not specified why it chose to probe Entain.
AUSTRAC has not specified why it chose to probe Entain.

The UK gaming giant is being investigated by AUSTRAC.

UK.- There’s another headache for the FTSE 100-listed gaming company Entain Plc this week. Following its recent record £17m fine from the British Gambling Commission, it’s now facing a probe by AUSTRAC – the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.

The Australian watchdog will investigate Entain’s compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing laws under the AML/CTF Act. AUSTRAC said the investigation forms part of an “extensive supervisory campaign covering the whole corporate bookmaking sector” and has shone no light on why it had chosen to look into Entain specifically. 

Nor has it clarified if the probe relates to any specific Entain brand. Entain runs Ladbrokes Australia and the horse racing betting brand Neds International in what is a key growth market for the group.

AUSTRAC chief executive Nicole Rose said: “Reporting entities have a responsibility to ensure they identify, assess and manage risks of money laundering and terrorism financing, develop adequate processes and devote the necessary resources to comply with their AML/CTF obligations.”

AUSTRAC has warned that it will “not hesitate to take action where suspected non-compliance is identified”. Its supervisory campaign intends to highlight areas where operators need to improve their AML protocols.

Earlier this year, Entain made an AUS $3.5bn offer for Tabcorp Holdings’ wagering and racing business TAB. The offer was turned down, with Tabcorp opting to demerge its lottery and wagering businesses into Tabcorp and The Lottery Corporation. 

In November last year, the UK-based company was fined AU$26,690 in Australia by the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) for breaching the 2019 Northern Territory Code of Conduct for Responsible Services in Online Gambling. Entain had allowed its representatives to use business cards with QR codes to activate a series of bonus cash promotions by signing up at Entain subsidiary Neds.

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ENTAIN gambling regulation