SkyCity Adelaide fined $67 million following money laundering investigations launched by AUSTRAC

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
2 Min Read
SkyCity Adelaide has been hit with a $67 million fine for failing to comply with anti-money laundering laws.
SkyCity Adelaide has been hit with a $67 million fine for failing to comply with anti-money laundering laws. Credit: Facebook

A major casino will need to cough up $67 million after the Federal Court found the operator failed to meet anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing requirements.

SkyCity Adelaide has been hit with the huge fine by the Federal Court following a money laundering investigation initiated by AUSTRAC, the financial crimes agency.

The court’s civil action determined that SkyCity Adelaide failed to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws, falling short of its requirements.

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Court documents showed that the casino had patrons linked to organized crime, loan sharking, human trafficking, and sex slavery.

An AUSTRAC spokesperson said Sky City failed to carry out due diligence and stop criminal exploration.

“Australia’s free and open economy can be exploited by bad actors to launder illicit funds, and money laundering remains an intractable issue that comes with significant harm to the public,” the spokesperson said.

“SkyCity admitted that its contraventions made it vulnerable to criminal exploitation, and exposed the Australian community and financial system to money laundering and terrorism financing risk.”

The spokesperson said millions of dollars had been moved through the casino over many years by high risk money launderers.

“In ways that made the source and ownership of the funds unclear,” they said.

“It failed to carry out required checks on 121 customers, including where SkyCity knew customers were the subject of law enforcement interest, or where there were indications that some posed a higher risk of money laundering.”

It is understood that SkyCity Adelaide had allocated over $70 million in anticipation of the fine.

SkyCity Adelaide will also be liable for $3 million in legal costs.

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