AUSTRAC investigates Entain over AML and CTF compliance

Australia’s financial watchdog has launched a probe into Entain Group to determine whether or not it complied with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) law.

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Following an “extensive supervisory campaign,” the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has commenced an enforcement investigation.

The regulator’s Chief Executive, Nicole Rose, said all reporting entities must “take seriously their role in combatting serious and organised crime.”

“Reporting entities have a responsibility to ensure they identify, assess and manage risks of money laundering and terrorism financing, develop adequate processes and devote the necessary resources to comply with their AML/CTF obligations,” she stated.

Since the investigation is ongoing, AUSTRAC was unable to offer any further comment. However, the watchdog did highlight the “range of regulatory tools and enforcement powers” available to it.

Given this, AUSTRAC said it “will not hesitate to take action where suspected non-compliance is identified.” Further brands may also face investigations.

AUSTRAC’s supervisory campaign assessed multiple entities within the “corporate bookmakers sector” – not just Entain. To this end, the regulator said its supervisory campaign “may lead to other areas of focus in this sector.”

AUSTRAC’s probe comes shortly after Entain was on the receiving end of regulatory action in the UK. In August, the Gambling Commission said Entain would pay £17m ($20m) for social responsibility and AML failures.

At the time, Gambling Commission CEO Andrew Rhodes said: “Our investigation revealed serious failures that have resulted in the largest enforcement outcome to date.”

In other Australian news, meanwhile, The Star has halted trading ahead of the Bell report’s release.

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