Australia expands money laundering probe into casinos

SkyCity on line casino in Adelaide, Australia

Australia is increasing an investigation into casinos over a possible breach of money laundering legal guidelines.

Owners of the primary casinos in Australia’s 5 greatest cities are actually below formal investigation.

National Australia Bank (NAB) and on line casino operators Crown Resorts, Star Entertainment Group and SkyCity Entertainment Group have all been included.

The investigations are being carried out by the anti-money laundering regulator.

Crown has already been investigated for potential breaches at its Melbourne on line casino, however now its Perth on line casino may also be below scrutiny.

The firm has been unable to open a newly constructed Sydney on line casino costing A$2.2bn (£1.2bn; $1.7bn) after a landmark inquiry earlier this yr mentioned the corporate was unfit to carry a gaming licence in New South Wales.

The inquiry discovered that Crown had been “facilitating money laundering, exposing staff to the risk of detention in a foreign jurisdiction and pursuing commercial relationships with individuals” related to legal teams at casinos in different Australian cities.

The commissioner of the inquiry beneficial an overhaul of the corporate’s governance, starting with the sacking of many of the board.

For years, Crown has been dogged by allegations of criminality occurring at its casinos, together with widespread money laundering and junkets for Chinese high-roller gamblers linked to organised crime teams.

Star Entertainment Group, which runs Sydney’s solely on line casino, can be now being investigated over suspected breaches of buyer due diligence legal guidelines.

That may jeopardise a $7bn proposal to purchase rival Crown Resorts, which has been fielding takeover approaches within the face of the money laundering allegations.

New Zealand based mostly SkyCity, which runs one on line casino in Australia, mentioned the regulator is investigating its Adelaide operation over potential shortfalls in administration of consumers recognized as “high risk and politically exposed”.

NAB mentioned its investigation is concentrated on weak buyer identification procedures and background checks.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) works to stop organised criminals utilizing banks and firms to finance their operations.

The regulator instructed the BBC that it “works with state and territory regulators and law enforcement partners to actively address the significant risks of money laundering through casinos” and to “support regulation and education of the gambling sector”.

Australia has seen document penalties lately because of money laundering breaches.

In September of final yr, Australia’s Westpac financial institution was fined a document A$1.3bn for the nation’s greatest breach of money laundering legal guidelines.

The Commonwealth Bank agreed to pay a document A$700m in 2018 in a money laundering case.

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