The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre has ordered the appointment of external auditors to assess both Sportsbet and bet365.
Relating to both companies compliance with national money laundering and anti-terrorist financing legislation, AUSTRAC, the country’s financial watchdog, emphasised that the end objective of the audit is to assist both brands with the aforementioned compliance requirements as well as informing the authority as to whether regulatory action will be necessary.
“Sportsbet and bet365 are amongst the largest operators in the corporate bookmaking sector,” said Nicole Rose, AUSTRAC Chief Executive. “AUSTRAC is putting the whole industry on notice to lift their game.
“Ultimately, enforcing non-compliance is about protecting the community. Money laundering feeds organised crime and all the harm that comes with it. We need businesses at the front line to fully comply with the AML/CTF Act – to understand and mitigate their risks and report suspected crimes.”
AUSTRAC began its supervisory campaign into Australian sportsbooks’ money laundering compliance standards in September with an investigation into Entain, itself an overseas operator in Australia via its Ladbrokes and Neds holdings.
Specifics of the investigation will see bet365 and Sportsbet evaluated against four key criteria relating to the provisions of the AML/CTF Act and Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007.
Auditors have been tasked with updating AUSTRAC on whether both bet365 and Sportsbet have a framework in place allowing board members and senior managers oversight of part A programmes, within a 180 day timeframe.
The firms will also be judged on whether they are appropriately monitoring customers to identify, mitigate and manage the risk of money laundering.
Lastly, the 180 day evaluation will also determine whether the companies have adapted and maintained an AML/CTF programme using risk-based systems and controls and have undertaken an ML/TF Risk Assessment considering the risk posed by ‘their customer types’, as well as designated services and the methods used to deliver these.
Rose concluded: “AUSTRAC will not hesitate to take action where suspected non-compliance is identified, to protect businesses from being exploited and protect the Australian community from harm.”