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The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre is launching civil penalty proceedings against SkyCity Adelaide for alleged serious and systemic anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing failures.

AUSTRAC is looking into the operator after an enforcement investigation into SkyCity in June last year. The investigation was a result of an AUSTRAC industry-wide compliance campaign that began in September 2019.

The government agency alleges that SkyCity Adelaide failed to appropriately assess the money laundering and terrorism financing risks it faced, including the likelihood and impact of those risks, and to identify and respond to changes in risk over time.

SkyCity also allegedly did not include in its AML/CTF programmes appropriate risk-based systems and controls to mitigate the risks to which SkyCity was exposed.

AUSTRAC thirdly alleges, among more claims, that SkyCity did not conduct appropriate ongoing customer due diligence on a range of customers who presented higher money laundering risks.

AUSTRAC deputy CEO Peter Soros said: “The requirement for regulated entities to have appropriate AML/CTF controls and systems in place is not optional and should be taken seriously by all businesses regulated by AUSTRAC.

“AUSTRAC continues to work with SkyCity to ensure it complies with its obligations under the AML/CTF Act and to ensure it continues to meet its obligations in the future.”

Soros said the ruling – the third civil penalty proceeding AUSTRAC has brought against businesses operating in the casino sector – “should serve as a warning.”