A review into the suitability of SkyCity Adelaide to retain its South Australian casino license has been put on hold pending the outcome of civil penalty proceedings filed against SkyCity by Australian anti-money laundering watchdog AUSTRAC.
South Australian Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Dini Soulio revealed the delay on Monday, despite revealing he has received some preliminary materials from retired Supreme Court Judge the Hon Brian Martin AO KC, who is conducting the review.
“While Mr Martin’s investigation has been separate from the proceedings initiated by AUSTRAC in the Federal Court Against SkyCity, there is clearly some overlap that will need to be considered,” Soulio said.
“Mr Martin has advised that until the resolution of the AUSTRAC proceedings, it is not possible to determine reliably the question of suitability. On that basis, I have put on hold the investigation with regard to an overall determination of suitability.
“However, in the meantime, I have written to SkyCity relating to the allegations raised in the AUSTRAC proceedings and the preliminary matters raised in Mr Martin’s investigation.
“I am currently considering my options regarding any potential action I may take.”
The review into SkyCity Adelaide was originally announced in July 2022, some five months before AUSTRAC revealed in December it had commenced 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.
AUSTRAC alleged that SkyCity:
- Failed to appropriately assess the money laundering and terrorism financing risks it faced, including the likelihood and impact of those risks, and to identify and respond to changes in risk over time.
- Did not include in its AML/CTF programs appropriate risk-based systems and controls to mitigate and manage the risks to which SkyCity was reasonably exposed.
- Failed to establish an appropriate framework for Board and senior management oversight of the AML/CTF programs.
- Did not have a transaction monitoring program to monitor transactions and identify suspicious activity that was appropriately risk-based or appropriate to the nature, size and complexity of SkyCity.
- Did not have an appropriate enhanced customer due diligence program to carry out additional checks on higher risk customers.
- Did not conduct appropriate ongoing customer due diligence on a range of customers who presented higher money laundering risks.
The findings of the review had been due to be made public this week.