After an inquiry revealed that the matter is serious as well as systemic non-compliance, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) brought legal proceedings against SkyCity Adelaide on Wednesday in the Federal Court of Australia.
The deputy chief of the agency, Peter Soroc, stated that once the investigation went underway, it uncovered a number of instances in which SkyCity did not exercise the proper level of continued client due diligence.
SkyCity had also struggled to design and sustain a compliance approach to the counter-terrorism financing as well as anti-money laundering schemes, leaving it vulnerable to the possibility of being used by criminals.
According to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the board of directors and management group of SkyCity were unsuccessful on numerous fronts.
This includes failing to conduct an adequate threat assessment of the potential for laundering money and the funding of terrorist organizations.
Additionally, it is alleged that the corporation did not put in place the necessary systems and procedures to eliminate or at least control the risks.
It is also claimed that SkyCity did not really have a suitable monitoring program for transaction activity. Even with regards to the identity suspicious protocol, which would have been a must for a large casino such as SkyCity.
AUSTRAC Criticizes SkyCity
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre has criticized the gaming provider for failing to build a sufficient structure for its top management level group to supervise its counter-terrorism funding and anti-money laundering programs.
It is stated that the corporation did not do the proper due diligence on clients who posed greater risks.
According to Mr Soros, SkyCity’s strategy for fulfilling its lawful requirements was poor, which left the casino company open to the possibility of being exploited by criminals.
He had said that it is not optional for legislated businesses to meet the requirement that they have suitable controls and structures in order for AML and counter the funding of terrorism.
This is the 3rd instance of a civil fine process that the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre has initiated against casino providers.
CEO of SkyCity Statements
Michael Ahearne, who is the chief executive officer of the casino in question, stated that the casino took its AML requirements seriously and that it will continue to be devoted to strengthening the casino’s operations in order to guarantee that the business complies with the legislation.
He stated that the casino’s top objective is to maintain an atmosphere that is both safe and responsible for the benefit of its clients and the communities they serve.
He later went on to say that they are committed to continuing their collaboration with each of their governing bodies in order to make continuous improvements to their counter-terrorism funding and anti-money laundering programs.