Sportsbet and Bet365 to be investigated by money-laundering watchdog

Two of Australia’s most popular sport betting companies — Sportsbet and Bet365 — are set to be investigated over whether they have breached financial laws. 

The government’s anti-money laundering watchdog AUSTRAC revealed on Thursday external auditors would be appointed to forcibly examine the companies’ books. 

Under notices issued to both companies this week, AUSTRAC’s National Manager, Regulatory Operations said there were ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ that the bookmakers had contravened the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

Both companies are required to submit nominations for external auditors within 28 days and hand over completed reports detailing how they have or haven’t complied with financial laws to AUSTRAC within 180 days.

Money laundering watchdog AUSTRAC will investigate Bet365 and Sportsbet

Money laundering watchdog AUSTRAC will investigate Bet365 and Sportsbet

The watchdog said it was putting the ‘whole (betting) industry on notice to lift their game.’ 

‘Sportsbet and Bet365 are amongst the largest operators in the corporate bookmaking sector,’ AUSTRAC Chief Executive Officer,’ Nicole Rose said.

‘Enforcing non-compliance is about protecting the community.Money laundering feeds organised crime.

‘AUSTRAC will not hesitate to take action where suspected non-compliance is identified, to protect businesses from being exploited and protect the Australian community from harm.’

AUSTRAC's boss Nicole Rose said she was 'putting the whole industry on notice'

AUSTRAC’s boss Nicole Rose said she was ‘putting the whole industry on notice’

The inquiry into online betting follows bombshell investigations into Australia’s casino industry.

Last month, 키노사다리 Star Entertainment Group was fined a record $100million and had its gambling licence suspended.

A NSW Independent Casino Commission found it had been ‘cavalier’ in allowing money-laundering and organised crime to infiltrate their Sydney casino. 

Star rival, Crown Resorts, was fined a previous record $80 million by the Victorian Gambling Casino Control Commission earlier this year. 

The commission found almost $164 million was churned through its Melbourne casino disguised as ‘hotel expenses’.

Crown could also be fined another $100 million from the VGCCC for breaches of responsible gambling laws.

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