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AUSTRAC to commence Federal Court proceedings against SkyCity Adelaide

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) will commence civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against SkyCity Adelaide for alleged serious and systemic non-compliance with Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws.

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It comes after an enforcement investigation into the operator, about which it was notified in June of last year. The investigation was a result of an AUSTRAC industry-wide compliance campaign which began in September 2019.

The body’s allegations include that SkyCity failed to appropriately assess the money laundering and terrorism financing risks it faced, did not include in its AML/CTF programmes appropriate risk-based systems and controls to mitigate and manage the risks to which it was reasonably exposed, and failed to establish an appropriate framework for Board and senior management oversight of the AML/CTF programmes.

Moreover, the operator did not have an appropriate enhanced customer due diligence programme to carry out additional checks on higher risk customers, and did not conduct appropriate ongoing customer due diligence on a range of customers who presented higher money laundering risks.

“AUSTRAC’s investigation identified a range of circumstances where SkyCity failed to carry out appropriate ongoing customer due diligence,” said AUSTRAC Deputy CEO Peter Soros.

“SkyCity also failed to develop and maintain a compliant AML/CTF programme, leaving it at risk of criminal exploitation.”

Whether a civil penalty order is made and any amount are now matters before the court, with AUSTRAC not providing any further comment.

SkyCity follows in the footsteps of The Star Pty Limited and The Star Entertainment QLD Limited, having last week been the subject of similar proceedings by AUSTRAC.

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