Daniel Williams

South Australia Gambling Regulator Appoints Independent Experts to Evaluate SkyCity Adelaide’s AML Controls

The Australian arm of the corporate investigation and risk management company Kroll Incorporated was hired to evaluate and possibly revise SkyCity Adelaide’s programmes in an attempt to improve the anti-money laundering (AML) controls implemented by the gambling company. Kroll Australia’s appointment was announced earlier this morning by the SkyCity Entertainment Group. The decision to appoint the leading third-party risk assessment company was made by the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner, who regulates gaming activities in South Australia.

The newly unveiled appointment will see the Sydney-based advisory firm assess the AML and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) policies of SkyCity’s gaming and hospitality venue located in the heart of South Australia’s capital city. In addition to the reviews, Kroll Australia will be tasked with hosting various programmes that aim to improve SkyCity’s social responsibility policies.

If necessary, the advisory and risk management firm will also introduce amendments to said policies. Kroll will also keep an eye on the implementation of the programmes and observe whether SkyCity Adelaide is complying with its gambling-harm reduction obligations. The risk management firm will then relay the results to the South Australia Liquor and Gambling Commissioner.

The Independent Review Was Postponed Due to Another Investigation

The decision to independently review SkyCity Entertainment’s venue in Adelaide was originally announced last year in July. It came as a result of several probes into the operations of Star Entertainment and Crown Resorts conducted in other Australian states. Said probes uncovered various grave failures in the social responsibility and anti-money laundering policies of both gambling operators.

Approximately one year earlier, in June 2021, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) conducted a separate investigation into SkyCity, Crown Resorts, and Star Entertainment. The financial intelligence agency established at the time all three gambling operators had committed flagrant breaches of the federal anti-money laundering legislation. As a result of these findings, the AML watchdog launched civil penalty proceedings against the three gaming and entertainment companies last December.

Pending the results of the financial intelligence agency’s investigation, the independent review into SkyCity’s venue in Adelaide was eventually postponed this February. AUSTRAC has not yet finalised the findings of said investigation. According to SkyCity representatives, the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner was confident appointing Kroll would add an extra layer of assurance and provide an unbiased perspective into the operator’s anti-money laundering policies.

As Casino Guardian wrote, the Adelaide casino reported growth in gaming revenue despite the regulatory trials and tribulations it has been experiencing lately. The gambling company was forced to put aside AU$45 million to ensure it could cover any potential settlement costs associated with its alleged breaches of Australia’s anti-money laundering legislation. Despite these difficulties, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Ahearne is optimistic about SkyCity Entertainment’s prospects for the future, as we recently reported.

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.

Daniel Williams

Author: Jerry Lewis