In Australia, sportsbetting and gaming operator Tabcorp Holdings Limited has reportedly agreed to pay a fine worth approximately $34.6 million in order to settle a money laundering case brought by the government’s Australian Transaction Reports And Analysis Centre (AusTRAC) financial intelligence agency.
According to a report from the Camden Haven Courier newspaper, Tabcorp Holdings Limited has additionally agreed to make a number of admissions that it had not sufficiently complied with Australia’s federal anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.
The newspaper reported that AusTRAC filed a civil suit against Tabcorp Holdings Limited in 2015 alleging that the Melbourne-based firm had not properly monitored customer behavior as is mandated by law before adding extra contraventions to its claim in April of last year. As a result, the operator was purportedly facing a multi-billion-dollar fine as each of the 236 suspected infractions carried a penalty of $13.8 million.
The Camden Haven Courier reported that Tabcorp Holdings Limited released a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Thursday explaining that the admitted contraventions had not been deliberate and that it was pleased to have reached an agreement with AusTRAC.
“We will continue to work cooperatively with AusTRAC going forward,” read a statement from David Attenborough, Chief Executive Officer for Tabcorp Holdings Limited.
Tabcorp Holdings Limited moreover declared that it had strengthened its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism funding efforts by introducing a new internal monitoring program it described as “a material improvement on its former program”. It stated that it had also made “substantial” investments in improving its customer transaction monitoring systems by employing a chief risk officer, establishing a financial crimes risk taskforce and expanding its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing teams.
In related news, Tabcorp Holdings Limited could be about to face fresh competition in its long-running effort to buy fellow sportsbetting and gaming operator Tatts Group after the Australian Financial Review newspaper reported that a consortium that includes multi-national private equity group KKR And Company and global investment banking firm Macquarie Group Limited is poised to make a second offer.
The syndicate, which is known as Pacific Consortium, failed with an initial $5.3 billion bid for Brisbane-based Tatts Group in December but is now reportedly considering a return with the added firepower of an offshore bookmaking giant. The Australian Financial Review alleged that the consortium has opened negotiations with several international operators such as William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair concerning the prospect that one of these might want to join its takeover effort and ultimately acquire the wagering operations of the nation’s largest bookmaker.
For its part, Tabcorp Holdings Limited had its own $8.1 billion offer for Tatts Group approved in October and earlier declared that it expects to complete the takeover by the summer subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.