Senate Inquiry into Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing

Senate Inquiry into Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing

Photo attribution – Aditya Joshi 

RWA has provided comment to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the adequacy and efficacy of Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime.

Australia’s online wagering industry is heavily regulated, governed by over 17,000 pages of state and federal regulation and accountable to 26 different regulatory bodies.

Australia’s online wagering providers are subject to strict regulation under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (the Act) and have implemented comprehensive internal processes to ensure compliance with their obligations under the Act.  This includes mandatory identity verification and the employment of individuals specifically tasked with monitoring anti money laundering and counter terrorism financing (AML/CTF) compliance.

It is significantly harder for criminal activity related to money laundering or terrorism financing to occur through the use of regulated Australian online wagering platforms due to the presence of binding consumer protection. Customers of online wagering services are not anonymous and are subject to strict account verification measures, with action taken quickly should an account or transaction be deemed suspicious.

While RWA’s members continue to comply with obligations under the Act, the offering of illegal offshore gambling websites to Australian customers creates a vulnerability in Australia’s AML/CTF regulatory structure that undermines its effectiveness.

Not only does the presence of illegal offshore websites cloud the ability for customers to differentiate between legitimate, Australian-licensed wagering service providers,  but they present an opportunity for domestic based criminal enterprises to use these sites to launder money without the strict oversight and intervention that would occur if such illegal activity was attempted through an Australian-licensed wagering provider.

RWA continues to support strong regulatory action to prevent illegal offshore gambling websites from offering products and services to Australian consumers.

More details on the Inquiry, including RWA’s submission, can be found here.