The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre is the enforcement and intelligence agency for financial crime prevention. SkyCity Adelaide was taken to Federal Court by the government watchdog. They claim that SkyCity Adelaide is in serious violation of anti-money laundering laws and counterterrorism financing regulations. Last month, Star Entertainment Group for the same types of lapses in corporate responsibility generally.The action by AUSTRAC wouldn’t appear to come as a surprise to corporate governors as it was warned about in October during Sky’s Annual General Meeting.SkyCity has been under investigation since mid-2021 when indiscretions were exposed during an industry-wide campaign on compliance launched by authorities in late 2019.Deputy CEO of AUSTRAC, Peter Soros said in a report on the agency’s website that Systemsic failures in SkyCity’s approach to AML/CTF obligations had been identified.Soros said, “AUSTRAC’s investigation identified a range of circumstances where SkyCity failed to carry out appropriate ongoing customer due diligence.“SkyCity also failed to develop and maintain a compliant AML/CTF program, leaving it at risk of criminal exploitation.”Framework Didn’t Exist for Proper OversightA laundry list of offenses is alleged in the announcement including assertions that the company Failure to recognise the danger It faces possible terrorist financing and money laundering as well the risk of potential consequences. It was also accused of failing to recognize and address potential terrorist financing and money laundering. enhanced due diligence As the enforcement action moves to the penalty phase, another allegation has been made by the watchdog: no appropriate framework existed to give senior management and the board appropriate oversight of the AML/CTF that were in place.Operator Ignored RisksAdditionally, it is alleged that Sky “Did not include in its AML/CTF programs appropriate risk-based systems and controls to mitigate and manage the risks to which SkyCity was reasonably exposed.”Finally, the agency contends that Sky failed to conduct appropriate due diligence on a variety of customers who presented higher risks for money laundering.Soros explained, “The requirement for regulated entities to have appropriate AML/CTF controls and systems in place is not optional and should be taken seriously by all businesses regulated by AUSTRAC,” Soros said.“AUSTRAC continues to work with SkyCity to ensure it complies with its obligations under the AML/CTF Act and to ensure it continues to meet its obligations in the future.“This is the third civil penalty proceeding AUSTRAC has brought against businesses operating in the casino sector. It should serve as a warning to casinos and all other businesses regulated by AUSTRAC to take their AML/CTF obligations seriously and comply with the AML/CTF Act and AML/CTF Rules.”Source: Another hit for Australia’s casinos as AUSTRAC launches civil penalty proceedings against SkyCity Adelaide, Inside Asian Gaming, December 7, 2022

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