SkyCity Prepares for AU$73m Penalty After Financial Probe

SkyCity Prepares for AU$73m Penalty After Financial Probe

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Casino operator SkyCity is preparing for an eye-watering fine after an investigation by the financial crime watchdog in Australia. The company told investors on Thursday that it has set aside as much as AU$73m (US$48.20) to cover a penalty and legal costs. That’s an increase from the AU$45m (US$29.71) it said it had prepared in August.

breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) filed civil penalty proceedings against SkyCity in December 2022. It followed an investigation into SkyCity Adelaide that uncovered breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws at the casino.

Among the allegations, AUSTRAC claimed SkyCity failed to appropriately assess risks from money laundering and terrorism financing, did not enforce appropriate risk-based systems and controls to manage risks, and did not have a transaction monitoring program.

As a result of the probe and following court case, SkyCity has had to form an agreement with AUSTRAC. It has agreed to admit to breaches within the proceedings and pay a certain amount as a penalty, although the deal is subject to finalizing a statement of agreed facts and admissions.

A hearing is scheduled for June in which the court will decide the suitability of the agreed penalty. “The level of any penalty is a matter for the discretion of the court,” SkyCity told its investors.

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