SkyCity Adelaide faces further scrutiny for failing to comply with anti-money laundering laws

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The South Australian Liquor and Gambling Commissioner, Dini Soulio has issued a ‘direction notice’ against SkyCity casino in Adelaide, requiring a review of the casino’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) programs.

These actions come after the casino found itself not complying with the AML and CTF laws. The decision was made last Friday to further increase mandates on SkyCity under the Casino Act 1997.

SkyCity will be required to present the steps they are taking to fulfil their regulatory obligations through a “program of work” presented to Soulio. The report needs to contain their proposed steps against gambling-related damage minimization, anti-money laundering, and countering terrorism funding.

According to Soulio, after reviewing all the information and listening to SkyCity’s response of his concerns, he believes that a demonstration regarding their claims of following proper regulatory obligations is necessary.

“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,” said Soulio as quoted by ABC News.

It emerged in June 2021 that the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) had intimated the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that it was investigating three casinos including SkyCity for potential non-compliance with anti-money laundering law.

SkyCity failed in its treatment of high-risk customers from the period of July 2015 to June 2016, and July 2018 to June 2019. Furthermore, the watchdog filed a lawsuit again against the casino in December last year on similar allegations.

As of now, SkyCity has 28 days to comply with the orders or face a AU$100,000 fine. SkyCity Entertainment’s chief operating officer, David Christian said, “We will fully co-operate with the commissioner in relation to the selection and appointment of the independent expert, and work closely with the independent expert.”