March 7, 2024 2 min read


AUSTRAC Launches AML Probe into Bet365’s Hillside Brand

The AUSTRAC “will not hesitate to take action” if it identifies instances of non-compliance

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) announced that it has commenced an enforcement investigation into bet365’s local brand Hillside. According to the watchdog, the gambling operator may have failed to comply with the country’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).

The AUSTRAC noted that this investigation follows a supervisory campaign of entities within the commercial wagering sector. It also follows AUSTRAC’s consideration of the external audit report received following AUSTRAC’s order to bet365 to appoint an external auditor.  

The investigation will see the AUSTRAC probe into Hillside’s business to see whether the company really violated its AML and CTF responsibilities. The watchdog will leverage its vast range of regulatory tools and enforcement powers to understand whether bet365’s subsidiary is really guilty and “will not hesitate to take action” if it identifies instances of non-compliance.

Regulated Companies Should Follow Their Responsibilities

AUSTRAC’s chief executive officer, Brendan Thomas, released a statement on the investigation, highlighting the important role of gambling operators in tackling financial crime. Like all regulated entities, bookmakers are responsible for preventing fraud such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

To that end, commercial gambling operators must have “robust systems in place,” allowing them to manage and mitigate risks, Thomas said. He added that businesses without the necessary protocols may unwittingly facilitate criminal activities.

Businesses without adequate processes in place to manage those risks leave themselves vulnerable to exploitation by criminals.

Brendan Thomas, CEO, AUSTRAC

Since the investigation is still ongoing, neither Thomas nor the AUSTRAC were able to reveal further details.

Speaking of regulation, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently took action against a number of unlicensed wagering websites. The latest ban wave saw the regulator issue blocking orders against a new set of a dozen operators.

In the meantime, Australia continues to tighten its gambling rules, to the dismay of sports betting companies. An expected ban on gambling ads in Australia would greatly change the market. The looming measure recently forced Entain’s Ladbrokes and Neds to depart from the Responsible Wagering Australia group.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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