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SkyCity to launch review of AML/CTF programmes

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
The South Australian gaming regulator, Consumer and Business Services (CBS), has ordered Auckland-based gambling and entertainment business SkyCity Entertainment Group to implement an independent review of its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) programmes.
SkyCity Austrac penalty

The state’s Liquor and Gambling Commissioner, Dini Soulio, has directed SkyCity to appoint a “suitably qualified expert” to review its AML/CTF and problem gambling policies at its SkyCity Adelaide property.

The expert is to monitor both SkyCity’s implementation of new enhancement programmes as well as the casino’s compliance with its ongoing money laundering and gambling harm minimisation obligations.

Independent monitor of SkyCity AML initiatives

Soulio said he issued the direction after “careful consideration” of the allegations made in the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre’s (Austrac) prosecution of SkyCity for AML/ CTF failings.

skycity has been directed to review its aml/ctf policies and programmes

In that case, Austrac said the operator demonstrated a pattern of “serious and systemic non-compliance” with the country’s money laundering laws.

Following the financial intelligence agency’s decision to open civil penalty proceedings against SkyCity, Hon Brian Martin’s review of SkyCity Adelaide’s suitability to hold a casino licence was placed on hold pending the case’s outcome.

While the review paused, Soulio said he would be considering his options regarding any action deemed appropriate.

“After evaluating all the material and considering SkyCity Adelaide’s responses to my concerns, I feel it is appropriate for SkyCity Adelaide to demonstrate it is meeting these important regulatory obligations,” Soulio said.

The CBS said that the independent monitor will be empowered to seek amendments to the organisation’s enhancement programmes “if it is not satisfied with their contents”. Such amendments are to be subject to the Commissioner’s approval.

Not a matter taken lightly

“This is not a matter that I have taken lightly,” Soulio said.

“I believe it’s important that the people of South Australia can have confidence that SkyCity Adelaide, as the licensee of the Adelaide Casino, is operating effectively to minimise gambling harm and ensure compliance with all anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulatory obligations.”

“SkyCity and SkyCity Adelaide will continue to cooperate with consumer and business services and any further requests for information and documents,” said SkyCity in a statement.

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