The Australian government’s financial intelligence and regulatory agency, AUSTRAC, recently announced its decision to appoint external auditors to Bet365 and Sportsbet to help them assess their compliance with Australia’s anti-money laundering and terrorism financing laws. In addition to requiring these gambling companies to hire auditors, the regulator has also requested that they provide AUSTRAC with a copy of all unredacted reports produced by those auditors so that it can monitor their work.
What is AUSTRAC?
AUSTRAC is Australia’s financial intelligence agency. The agency collects and analyses information about financial transactions to identify, track and disrupt money laundering, terrorism financing, and other serious crime.
AUSTRAC provides advice and support to the government on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing policies and regulations.
The agency was established in 1989 and is part of the Attorney-General’s Department.
Why was there an investigation into betting agencies?
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) appointed auditors to investigate Bet and Sportsbet after receiving several complaints about the companies. The VCGLR is responsible for regulating gambling in Victoria, and it is illegal for gambling companies to operate without a license.
The commission received complaints that Bet and Sportsbet offered illegal online gambling services to Victorians. As a result, the VCGLR launched an investigation into the companies.
The commission appointed KordaMentha to audit Bet and Sportsbet. KordaMentha is a forensic accounting firm that has experience investigating gambling companies.
What are the consequences of breaking these laws?
There are several consequences that may result from breaking the gambling laws in Australia. These include fines, imprisonment, and a ban on gambling.
Breaking the gambling laws can have serious consequences, including:
- · Fines: You may be fined up to $220,000 for breaking gambling laws.
- · Imprisonment: You may be imprisoned for up to 10 years for breaking gambling laws.
- · Ban on gambling: You may be banned for life if you are convicted of breaking gambling laws.
How will AUSTRAC decide to punish Bet365 and Sportsbet?
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is the financial intelligence agency responsible for combating money laundering and terrorism financing in Australia. As part of its mandate, AUSTRAC works closely with the gambling industry to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws and regulations.
AUSTRAC announced that it had appointed external auditors to conduct independent audits of Bet365 and Sportsbet, two of Australia’s largest online gambling companies. The audits will assess whether the companies have complied with their AML/CTF obligations, including reporting suspicious transactions and keeping proper records of customer transactions.
If the audits find that Bet365 and Sportsbet have breached their AML/CTF obligations, AUSTRAC will take enforcement action against the companies. This could include civil penalties of up to $17 million per breach and banning the companies from accepting bets from customers in Australia.