AUSTRAC calls on the casino industry to be more vigilant with junk operators

Australia's Anti-Money Laundering Authority AUSTRAC warned that gambling operators are being infiltrated and exploited by "serious and international criminals," reports the Sydney Morning Herald.  

Garbage is an agreement between a casino and a tour operator to facilitate gambling at that casino. AUSTRAC has published a money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment and called on the casino industry to take further action against possible money laundering. AUSTRAC stated that the main threat to junk operations is money laundering. “The evaluation also showed that the patronage from the site customers high risk from foreign jurisdictions is a key litter loophole. '  

Investigations into the junk business were spurred by an NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) investigation launched at Crown Resorts earlier this year. The opening of Crown's Barangaroo casino was delayed due to an investigation until February 1st. Crown has also stated that it will not be working with the junkets until it obtains a license from license authorities gambling.  

AUSTRAC Executive Director Nicole Rose said: "I urge the casino to take immediate action by assessing the level of risk associated with junk operations, strengthening controls and reporting suspicious activity to AUSTRAC." She added that the trash problem could widen even further: "Money laundering and financial crimes enable serious criminal activities, such as trafficking in drugs and people, that harm our communities."

Currently, junk activities in the country are on hold due to ongoing travel restrictions related to the pandemic.  

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