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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

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Bet365’s Australian Operations under Investigation: Online Gambling in Regulatory Crosshairs

Bet365's Australian Operations under Investigation
Bet365's Australian Operations under Investigation

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Bet365’s Australian Operations Under Investigation: Online Gambling in Regulatory Crosshairs

Australia’s financial crime watchdog, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac), has investigated the UK online gambling company Bet365 concerning its compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. This move comes after Austrac had previously mandated an external audit of the company in 2022. Bet365 did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment at the time of reporting.

The online gambling industry has faced heightened scrutiny globally, notably as online betting surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Austrac’s CEO, Brendan Thomas, emphasized the importance of businesses having robust processes to manage the risks associated with financial crime, as inadequate measures make them susceptible to criminal exploitation.

Austrac, responsible for investigating banks, casinos, and betting companies, ensures the implementation of effective compliance systems to prevent entities from profiting from criminal activities. Similar investigations have been conducted, with Ladbrokes owner Entain being probed in Australia since 2022 and another competitor, Sportsbet, facing an external audit.

Australian law mandates firms to assess customers and monitor financial transactions to identify and manage the risks of money laundering or financing terrorism. Companies found with weak compliance systems could face fines. In recent years, central banks like Westpac and Commonwealth Bank of Australia have been fined by Austrac for breaches of these laws.

The online betting industry in Australia faces additional challenges, including new regulations prohibiting the use of credit cards for online gambling and stricter federal government rules on advertisements.

Bet365, a significant player in the industry, reported a substantial loss last year. However, its CEO, Denise Coates, received a notable compensation of £221 million, making her one of Britain’s wealthiest women and among the world’s best-paid executives. Despite the financial loss, Coates has consistently received significant dividends. The investigation by Austrac adds to the regulatory pressures facing the online gambling industry in Australia, reflecting a broader global trend towards increased oversight of the sector.


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