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AUSTRAC acts against Crown in Melbourne and Perth

AUSTRAC acts against Crown in Melbourne and Perth

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The Crown casinos in both Melbourne and Perth are being taken to court by the Australian Transaction Reports & Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) over alleged breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

Following an investigation that began in October 2020, civil proceedings have begun in the Australian Federal Court.

The head of the agency responsible for acting on criminal abuse of Australia’s financial system, Nicole Rose, said: “AUSTRAC’s investigation identified poor governance, risk management and failures to have and maintain a compliant program, detailing how Crown would identify, mitigate and manage the risk of their products and services being misused for money laundering or terrorism financing. They also failed to carry out appropriate ongoing customer due diligence, including on some very high-risk customers. This led to widespread and serious non-compliance over a number of years.”

Crown, currently the subject of a A$9bn takeover bid from the Blackstone private equity group, has for some time been working on improvements to governance, compliance, responsible gaming and financial crime risk management, and this legal action is reported to have been anticipated.