- Legal States
Yasmin Moore November 3, 2022 3 min read
AUSTRAC Orders Audits of Sportsbet and Bet365
Australia’s counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering regulator AUSTRAC has ordered an external audit of two leading online gambling companies, namely Sportsbet and Hillside, which operates under the name bet365, under section 162 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
The audit will be authorized by the financial crimes watchdog and will be performed to establish if both corporate bookmakers comply with the AML/CTF Act and Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No. 1) (AML/CTF Rules).
Before taking these measures, AUSTRAC undertook an extensive supervisory campaign to assess entities in the corporate gambling sector.
Entain Was Subject to an Enforcement Investigation
AUSTRAC’s actions also come after the beginning of an enforcement investigation into Entain Group Pty Ltd. The probe was launched in September and will assess Entain’s compliance with its AML/CTF obligations.
Sportsbet’s and bet365’s Audit within 180 days
The external auditors will have 180 days to conduct the audit and to report to AUSTRAC if Sportsbet and bet365 comply with the respective laws, namely if both companies have and maintain an AML/CTF program to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks.
The audit will also examine if both bookmakers undertake an appropriate ML/TF risk assessment of the risk related to their customer types, the types of services they provide, and the respective methods of delivery of services. Through the probes, the auditors will have to examine if Sportsbet and bet365 have a framework via which their “boards and senior management have ongoing oversight of their part A programs.” The two online gambling giants will have to prove that they are monitoring their customers properly to identify, mitigate, and manage the risk they may face given that “the provision of designated services may involve or facilitate money laundering or the financing of terrorism.”
The audits’ extent is established by the Australia financial crimes watchdog and will be at both bookmakers’ expense.
Based on the results of the examinations of Sportsbet and bet365, AUSTRAC will decide if any further regulatory actions are needed. The audit’s outcomes will also help both gambling companies to comply better with their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing obligations.
Nicole Rose, chief executive officer of AUSTRAC, commented that failure to comply with the AML/CTF Act was a serious issue. She also added that identifying and sanctioning non-compliance was necessary to protect the community. Leading businesses have to fully comply with the AML/CTF Act – in order to “understand and mitigate their risks and report suspected crimes.”
Finally, Rose stated that if non-compliance was identified, AUSTRAC would not hesitate to take the respective measures in order to protect the Australian community.