Financial crimes watchdog launches Adelaide casino investigation

SkyCity Casino Adelaide is under investigation by the federal government agency responsible for detecting money laundering and criminal abuse of the financial system.

New Zealand-based casino owner SkyCity Entertainment Group reported to the Australian Securities Exchange this morning that it was under investigation by AUSTRAC’s regulatory operations team.

The federal agency said it identified a serious potential non-compliance by SkyCity Adelaide with Australia’s Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act and the Anti-Money Laundering and Financing Rules Instrument. terrorism.

In its statement to shareholders, SkyCity said the potential serious non-compliance included concerns about continued customer due diligence and the adoption and maintenance of an anti-money laundering and anti-money laundering program. financing of terrorism (AML / CTF).

The concerns were identified during an AUSTRAC compliance assessment, which began in September 2019.

The formal investigation focuses on SkyCity Adelaide’s management of clients identified as high-risk and politically exposed persons between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, and July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

SkyCity has stated that it takes its responsibilities and obligations when it comes to combating money laundering very seriously.

“AUSTRAC has made it clear that it has not made a decision regarding the appropriate regulatory response it may apply to SkyCity Adelaide, including whether or not enforcement action will be taken,” he said in the press release.

“AUSTRAC has indicated that it will seek information from SkyCity as part of its investigation. SkyCity will cooperate fully with AUSTRAC in relation to these investigations and the SkyCity Adelaide investigation.

“SkyCity has processes and practices in place in its business to detect and prevent money laundering and continually reviews them to ensure it meets all anti-money laundering requirements.”

Adelaide is the only Australian casino in the group. It also operates New Zealand casinos in Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Queenstown.

The Adelaide operation received more than $ 23 million in JobKeeper payments from the Australian government in 2020, helping its New Zealand parent company to make a profit of $ 73.1 million for the first half of fiscal 2021 .

SkyCity opened its $ 330 million expansion in Adelaide in the first week of December. The expansion includes new play areas, bars, restaurants and the 120-room luxury hotel EoS.

Meanwhile, AUSTRAC has also launched a formal investigation into Crown Resorts’ Perth Casino law enforcement.

Crown reported the investigation to ASX this morning and said Crown Perth will fully cooperate with the investigation.

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