TabCorp is one of the leading bookmakers and gambling operators in Australia. The company brings in millions of dollars every year in gaming taxes that benefit the local economy – but, much of those profits are now considered ‘dirty money’ as TabCorp faces money laundering charges.
This week, The Federal Court has accused of 61 reporting breaches which could result in up to $18 million in charges for the gaming operator. The court action was taken by Austrac, the country’s financial intelligence unit, which is responsible for looking out for money laundering among local companies.
Austrac discovered that over 30 player accounts with TAB were under false names. They were used to make fraudulent credit card transactions for members of organised crime syndicates. Bookmakers and betting companies in Australia are required to report these issues, but TabCorp failed to do so. As such, the company has come under fire from the Federal Court and Austrac.
The watchdog first discovered the breaches in July 2015. However, this was not the first time that TabCorp has not complied with Australian’s anti-money laundering regulations. In fact, TabCorp has failed to comply with money laundering reporting obligations on 236 different occasions over the years.
“This ongoing investigation into Tabcorp’s extensive, significant and systematic non-compliance with Australia’s money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation has resulted in these additional allegations,” says Paul Jevtovic, Chief Executive of Austrac.
These are serious allegations for TabCorp, as Australian gaming operators are held to very high standards when it comes to enforcing rules that aim to prevent financial crimes. TabCorp has failed to uphold these standards and is now facing series repercussions for its inaction. There is still more to learn about this issue, so we will keep you updated with further developments.