AUSTRAC Opens Investigation Into Bet365 For Potential Breaches of AML/CTF Laws

Home » AUSTRAC Opens Investigation Into Bet365 For Potential Breaches of AML/CTF Laws

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC), Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator, has started an inquiry into Bet365, an online gambling firm based in the UK. The reason for the investigation is potential violations of counter-terrorism financing (CTF) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws by Bet365.

Previous audit as reason for ongoing investigation:

During 2022, AUSTRAC officially ordered an external inspection of the company, when it evaluated if it respects the AML/CTF Act 2006. A review of that inspection led the regulator to consider that further inquiry into the affairs of Bet365 was necessary.

However, Bet365 didn’t instantly responded when asked by BBC to comment on the investigation.

Furthermore, after online wagering soared throughout the pandemic, the entire Australian online wagering industry is currently facing risen scrutiny. Beside this, the industry faces other problems that involve stricter federal government rules on advertising and fresh laws that prohibit the utilization of credit cards for online gambling.

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In this regard, CEO of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC), Brendan Thomas, commented according to BBC: “Businesses without adequate processes in place to manage those risks leave themselves vulnerable to exploitation by criminals.”

As for AUSTRAC, it has the right to take the necessary action in the event of non-compliance. It is also its job is to investigate wagering firms, casinos and banks to ensure that they possess strong compliance systems in place to stop them from making money from the proceeds of crime.

A weak compliance system leads to fines:

According to the Australian law, companies have a duty to evaluate clients and supervise their financial transactions to recognize, reduce and control the risk that clients can be involved in terrorist financing and money laundering. Additionally, if AUSTRAC determines that any firm has a weak compliance system,that firm can be penalized.

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In this sense, Entain, the owner of Ladbrokes, has also been under investigation by AUSTRAC since September two years ago, in 2022. This is due to AML/ CTF concerns. Meanwhile, Sportsbet is also facing an external inspection.

Throughout recent years, the regulator has also fined big lenders involving Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac for violations of the counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering laws.

Bet365 sees revenue loss in 2023:

In 2023, Bet365 revealed a notable loss of revenue. However, Denise Coates, the CEO of the firm, earned nearly £221m, an increase of £7m compAred to the former year.

Relatedly, she also got dividends, which worth is minimum £50m. This pay rise means her overall wage during the last 4 years topped £1bn.

Furthermore, Ms Coates is currently considered 1 of the wealthiest women in Britain, in addition to being one of the highest-paying directors in the world.

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