Australian money laundering watchdog expands lawsuit against Tabcorp

tabcorp-money-laundering-probeAustralian wagering operator Tabcorp is facing increased scrutiny over alleged violations of non-compliance with the country’s anti-money laundering (AML) laws.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) announced a federal court civil lawsuit against Tabcorp last July, accusing the operator of allowing punters to illegally wager on credit, failing to report suspiciously large wagering volumes and allowing punters to set up wagering accounts under false identities.

On Wednesday, Tabcorp released a statement which said AUSTRAC had been given leave to file an amended statement of claim against the company “containing further alleged contraventions … which are of a similar nature to those already in issue in the proceedings.”

AUSTRAC is expected to file its amended complaint by April 29, and Tabcorp said it was preparing its response to the amended complaint within the timelines laid down by the court. The Federal Court of Australia had been set to consider AUSTRAC’s suit in September but Tabcorp’s statement said this date had been pushed back until June 6, 2017.

AUSTRAC had originally identified 60 examples of Tabcorp staff allowing credit betting, while over 30 Tabcorp wagering accounts had reportedly been opened by organized crime figures using assumed names for the purposes of laundering fraudulent credit card funds.

Tabcorp’s recent statement noted that it had adopted new AML and counter-terrorism financing programs in response to AUSTRAC’s original complaint. In February, Tabcorp announced that it had incurred $7.2m in costs related to the AUSTRAC inquiry.

This isn’t Tabcorp’s only ongoing legal headache. Domestic and international bribery investigators are currently probing a $200k payment Tabcorp allegedly made to family members of Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen in 2010 while the company was still pursuing a Cambodian online gambling license. The brouhaha prompted then-Tabcorp CEO Elmer Funke Kupper to step down from his current role as CEO of the Australian Securities Exchange.