Australian Regulator Starts Bet365 Money Laundering-Probe

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) has launched an investigation into Hillside Pty Limited, the gambling company behind Bet365’s operations in Australia. The investigation will need to determine whether Bet365 has complied with its obligations in relation to the rules on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.

AUSTRAC is an Australian intelligence service that investigates money laundering, organised crime and terrorist financing. The intelligence service said an investigation has been launched into Bet365’s parent company, Hillside Pty Limited. AUSTRAC explained that the probe focuses on Bet365’s potential lacking measures in the field of anti-money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

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Probe Didn’t Come Unexpected

According to the intelligence service, the investigation is part of a broader surveillance campaign targeting online bookmakers in Australia. As part of the research Bet365 was appointed an external auditor from AUSTRAC who got access to internal data of the British gambling site. That process started more than a year and a half ago when AUSTRAC believed to have “reasonable suspicions” that Bet365 was one of the bookmakers that had broken the guidelines for Anti-Money Laundering (AML). An external auditor was appointed to determine whether the gambling company had “risk-based systems and controls” in place to effectively identify, mitigate, and manage money laundering and terrorist financing risks. This measure also applied to another online sports betting provider, Sportsbet, operated by gambling company Flutter.

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Combating Financial Crime

Brendan Thomas, CEO of AUSTRAC, has indicated that online bookmakers who offer their products in Australia, have an important role in combating financial crime:

“Professional bookmakers are required to have robust systems in place to manage and mitigate the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. Companies that do not have adequate processes in place to manage these risks leave themselves vulnerable to abuse by criminals.”

Brendan Thomas, CEO of AUSTRAC

AUSTRAC adds that it will not release any future statements on the matter as long as the investigation is still in process. The Australian intelligence service does say that it will not hesitate to intervene if there are suspicions that a gambling site is not complying with the rules.

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About Bet365

Bet365 is an international gambling company founded in 2000 by the British family Coates and is still run by CEO Denise Coates and joint-chief executive John Coates. Its product range includes a sportsbook, an online casino, and platforms for online poker and online bingo. All gambling products are available with the same account. The company’s operations are carried out from its headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, as well as a second office in Malta. Overseas, Bet365 is available in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, as well as specific states and provinces in the US and Canada. New Zealanders meeting the minimum age requirement of 18 years can sign up for an account and wager with real money.

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