FCC Flash

On May 30, 2023, Australia’s largest casino operator, Crown Resorts, agreed to pay a penalty of $294 million after it was found to have failed in preventing money laundering and criminal activity at its Melbourne and Perth casinos. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) stated that Crown had admitted to operating in contravention of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).

According to AUSTRAC, both Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth casinos failed to appropriately assess the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing they faced. Additionally, they failed to identify and respond to changes in risk over time. The regulator also noted that the casinos did not have a suitable transaction monitoring program considering the nature, size, and complexity of their business. Moreover, they did not conduct adequate ongoing customer due diligence on certain customers who presented higher money laundering risks.

As part of the proposed penalty, Crown Resorts has acknowledged the breaches and committed to implementing significant reforms to strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing practices. It is important to note that the agreement between AUSTRAC and Crown Resorts is subject to court approval. If approved, the penalty would be the largest civil penalty in Australian corporate history.