SkyCity and AUSTRAC agree on $67m penalty for AML/CTF violations

SkyCity Adelaide Casino
Image: Neil Cox/Shutterstock

SkyCity Adelaide and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre have filed joint submissions with the Federal Court of Australia, proposing a $67m penalty for the casino over its violation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006. 

Reaching an agreement, SkyCity admitted that it operated in contravention of the AML/CTF Act under two different sections.

  • Section 81 – its AML/CTF Programs did not meet the requirements of the AML/CTF Act and AML/CTF Rules.
  • Section 36 – it did not carry out appropriate ongoing customer due diligence with respect to certain higher-risk customers and customers transacting through higher-risk channels.

Justice Lee will consider the proposed settlement between SkyCity and AUSTRAC when the court hearing takes place on June 7.

While a $67m penalty has been agreed to between the two parties in question, the court will have the final say on the appropriate penalty to be issued.

AUSTRAC’s Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Thomas, commented: “AUSTRAC took this action out of concern that SkyCity’s conduct meant that a range of high-risk practices, behaviours and customer relationships were allowed to continue unchecked for many years.”

Thomas added that the action demonstrates the importance of AML/CTF obligations to casinos and gaming companies and to be vigilant to money laundering and terrorism financing risks.