Austrac to investigate Crown Melbourne casino over potential money laundering breaches

Image: Crown Casino

Melbourne, Australia:

Austrac, Australia’s financial crimes regulator has begun a formal investigation into Crown Melbourne over potential money laundering breaches.

Crown, in a statement to the ASX said the “potential non-compliance includes concerns in relation to ongoing customer due diligence, and adopting, maintaining and complying with an anti-money laundering / counter-terrorism financing program”.

As per the statement, “the concerns were identified in the course of a compliance assessment that commenced in September 2019 and focused on Crown Melbourne’s management of customers identified as high risk and politically exposed persons.”

The casino has been the subject of a Nine News investigation exposing the company’s deal with the Home Affairs to attract Chinese gamblers to its Australian casinos. Earlier, Home Affairs admitted to a deal with Crown Casinos to fast-track visas for Chinese visitors to Australia. The corruption allegation adds to the list of other controversies the casino has been reeling with – links to drugs, brothels and alleged human trafficking.

Crown Casino is also under an inquiry into its businesses practices by NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. The inquiry however is drawing to a close.