Australia’s financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC has ordered an audit of leading sportsbooks Sportsbet and Bet365 to assess their compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules.
According to information announced by AUSTRAC this week, its actions are the result of an extensive supervisory campaign that assessed entities within the corporate bookmaker sector. A similar investigation was launched into British gaming giant Entain, which operates Labdrokes and Neds in Australia, in September.
AUSTRAC said this latest audit will examine Sportsbet’s and Bet365’s compliance with:
- Adopting and maintaining an AML/CTF program that has risk-based systems and controls in place to effectively identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks.
- Undertaking an appropriate AML/CTF Risk Assessment that considers the risk posed by their customer types, the types of designated services they provide and the methods by which they deliver those designated services.
- Ensuring Sportsbet and Bet365 have a framework through which their Boards and senior management have ongoing oversight of their Part A Programs; and
- Appropriately monitoring their customers with a view to identifying, mitigating and managing the risk they may reasonably face that the provision of designated services may involve or facilitate money laundering or the financing of terrorism.
The external auditors appointed to conduct the audit will be given 180 days to report back to the watchdog.
“Sportsbet and Bet365 are amongst the largest operators in the corporate bookmaking sector,” said AUSTRAC CEO, Nicole Rose. “AUSTRAC is putting the whole industry on notice to lift their game.
“Ultimately, enforcing non-compliance is about protecting the community. Money laundering feeds organized crime and all the harm that comes with it. We need businesses at the front line to fully comply with the AML/CTF Act – to understand and mitigate their risks and report suspected crimes.
“AUSTRAC will not hesitate to take action where suspected non-compliance is identified, to protect businesses from being exploited and protect the Australian community from harm.”
Sportsbet is Australia’s largest sportsbook with around 50% market share, having usurped the once dominant Tabcorp in 2021.