March 8, 2023 3 min read


Australia Forms Second AML Unit to Tackle Gambling Crime

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has told gambling industry officials that it has set up a new unit committed to tackling serious crime emanating from the sector

The new unit will be tasked with combating what the regulator sees as an increasing threat of money laundering that comes from gambling operators. Even industry insiders have agreed that anti-money laundering is a significant risk to their businesses, with Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment investing heavily in improving their AML and KYC practices lest they come in the crosshairs of regulators again. The pressure companies face is two-fold – they have fraudulent customers to worry about and journalists looking to discover malpractice.

AUSTRAC Brings More Capabilities to Tackle Money Laundering

Regulators in Victoria, a state in Australia, are even preparing for a “Plan B” scenario whereby Crown Resorts fails to meet its licensure targets and is ousted from running the casino property in Melbourne.

The new AML unit is set up on the heels of another recent investigation launched by AUSTRAC into suspected offenses by Sportsbet and bet365 which allegedly failed to meet anti-money laundering laws in the first place. Commenting on this case, an AUSTRAC spokesperson had this to add:

AUSTRAC allocates its resources to manage the threat of money laundering and terrorism financing in the Australian financial system, relative to the risks faced by different industry sectors.

AUSTRAC spokesperson

The spokesperson argued that the establishment of a second team of specialists is reflective of the high stakes the industry is running as of right, and the possibility of such crime taking place across casino floors. AUSTRAC is not acting just on suspicion but has the data to back and justify the establishment of a new unit. Bradley Brown, a manager of regulatory operations, said that there has been a noticeable increase in suspicious transactions.

Brown is also a staunch supporter of some of the recently discussed measures that could see the industry significantly limit the room for the such crime taking place in the first place. For one, he supports the push to introduce cashless gaming at poker machine venues which should significantly help limit money laundering.

Cashless to do Some Good, Create New Risks Too

If anything, cash transactions continue to be one of the biggest issues for regulators as they try to home in on illegal activity in the gambling sector. The establishment of a second unit to home in on this issue up close is a way to guarantee the sector’s safety, Brown thinks. The industry has been mostly receptive to the idea of introducing cashless gambling solutions as well.

Crown Resorts’ manager of a financial crime risk, Armina Antoniou, argued that money laundering risk would be reduced if a cashless technology was true to be implemented, but flagged some of the potential pitfalls. For one, digital IDs could be purchased on the dark web and criminals would still continue to launder money.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *