Australia

Three Australian casinos accused of money laundering

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre has accused a number of leading casinos in the country of money laundering.

The accusations

Austrac has issued warnings against Crown Resorts, Star Entertainment and SkyCity Entertainment Group as well as The National Bank of Australia (NAB).

Austrac looks at financial transactions to pick up on money laundering, organised crime, welfare fraud, tax evasion, and even terrorism financing. It accused the casinos of “serious non-compliance” with the Australian Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006. It also accused them of failing to conform to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007.

Crown Resorts

The notice was handed to Crown Resorts’ Crown Perth property. It has been under investigation since October 2020.

The Crown Melbourne practice failed to adhere to section 68 of the Victorian Casino Control Act 1991 between 2012 and 2016. This bans casino operators from providing money or chips with a credit or debit card. During this time, they transacted over $160m AUD (£87.7m) this way.

Star Entertainment

Star Entertainment is being investigated over its Star Sydney property. Austrac found the issues during a compliance assessment in September 2019. They are wary of the casino’s management of high-risk customers between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016 and 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

In a statement, Star Entertainment said: “The Star takes its anti-money laundering obligations very seriously and will fully co-operate with Austrac in relation to its requests for information and documents and the investigation.”

SkyCity Entertainment Group

SkyCity has been warned over customer due diligence and running an AML/CTF program. Austrac also became aware of this during a compliance assessment in September 2019. SkyCity has agreed to comply with the investigation. In a statement, they said: “SkyCity has processes and practices in place in its business to detect and prevent money laundering and continually reviews these to ensure it meets all anti-money laundering requirements.”

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