On-course bookmakers money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment

Austrac has published On-course bookmakers: money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment which assesses the overall money laundering/terrorism financing (ML/TF) risk for Australia’s on-course bookmaking sector as low. Austrac says the services provided by on-course bookmakers are likely to facilitate low levels of money laundering and tax evasion.

No terrorism financing through the sector was observed during the development of the report.

However, the report says the true extent of criminality in the sector is difficult to establish given the low level of criminal intelligence relating to on-course bookmakers’ services, as well as the extremely limited lodgement of suspicious matter reports (SMRs) and threshold transaction reports (TTRs) by the sector.

In addition to SMRs reported by the sector, AUSTRAC analysed SMRs that were reported about on-course bookmakers by other reporting entities. The majority of these SMRs related to suspected money laundering and tax evasion, suggesting a small number of on-course bookmakers are actively involved in low levels of illegal activity.

AUSTRAC assesses that the vulnerabilities associated with the provision of on-course bookmaking services constitute a medium risk.

On-course bookmakers have increased vulnerability where they:

• have a higher turnover;

• accept large cash bets and/or make large cash payouts;

• accept bets from agents acting on behalf of customers;

• provide customers with betting accounts and/or online and telephone betting services; or

• undertake minimal or no due diligence in relation to the source of funds their customers use for betting.

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