Tabcorp to pay A$45 million over Austrac case

Australian wagering giant Tabcorp has agreed to pay a A$45 million penalty to settle a case brought on by Australia’s financial intelligence agency, local media reports.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac), filed papers in the Federal Court against three Tabcorp companies in July 2015 for “extensive, significant and systemic non-compliance” with Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation.

At the time, Austrac said the action followed a long and comprehensive process of assessment of the Tabcorp Companies.

Under the agreement with Austrac, Tabcorp will be required to pay a A$45 million penalty, as well as Austrac’s legal costs (on an agreed basis).

The wagering operator will also make a number of admissions of non-compliance with its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML /CTF) obligations under its old AML/CTF program. In return, Austrac will withdraw the remaining allegations of non-compliance.

“Tabcorp acknowledges that there were a number of deficiencies in its former AML/CTF program, which resulted in a serious contravention of the AML/CTF legislation. It also acknowledges that it did not comply with certain other obligations under the AML/CTF legislation, while that program was in place,” said Tabcorp in a media release.

“These deficiencies were not the result of a deliberate intention to breach the AML/CTF legislation,” it added.

The Austrac case has been putting pressure on earnings, with Tabcorp posting narrowed net profit in the first half of 2017, down 28.1 percent year-on-year to A$58.9 million.

According to the company’s filing to the Australian Stock Exchange, the results were partly attributed to significant terms after tax caused by AUSTRAC civil proceedings (A$20 million).

Tabcorp in its recent filing noted since 2015 it has “made a significant enhancement to enhance its AML/CTF compliance”, including a new joint AML/CTF program, the introduction of automated transaction monitoring capabilities and reporting, further training of its staff, and the appointment of a chief risk officer.

“Tabcorp is firmly committed to being the industry leader in regulatory compliance across all of our operations. We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Austrac on this matter and will continue to work co-operatively with Austrac going forward,” said Tabcorp managing director and CEO, David Attenborough.

More news from this jurisdiction

AustraliaMonday, Feb 19, 2018

Nick Xenophon, an Australian politician and anti-gambling crusader, has modified his previously hardline approach to the pokies industry, backing away from earlier pledges to push for an all out ban in South Australia.

AustraliaThursday, Feb 08, 2018

Australian gambling operator Tabcorp Holdings on Thursday said its statutory net profit fell more than 50 percent in the first half of the 2018 financial year.

AustraliaTuesday, Feb 06, 2018

The Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) said they “welcomed” the results of the federal court case which accused Aristocrat and Crown of misleading gamblers with deceptive slot machines.

AustraliaMonday, Feb 05, 2018

Accepting and paying out bets in cryptocurrency will soon be banned for operators licensed in the Northern Territory, after the gaming authority released a warning to bookmakers on Friday.

AustraliaSunday, Feb 04, 2018

The Alliance for Gambling Reform is calling for a complete ban on political donations from the gaming industry, after recent disclosures revealed more than A$1.5 million was donated to major political parties in 2016/17.

AustraliaFriday, Feb 02, 2018

The court case against Australian-listed Crown Resorts and slot machine supplier Aristocrat over claims they had given gamblers misleading information about the chances of winning was dismissed in federal court on Friday.

AustraliaTuesday, Jan 30, 2018

A high level of demand for exhibitor space at the Australasian Gaming Expo 2018 has already seen 76 percent of exhibitor space sold, seven months prior to the event opening on August 14.