Ladbrokes owner faces finance probe


he Australian financial crimes regulator has opened an investigation into Ladbrokes owner Entain for possible breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) said it began its investigation after an extensive supervisory campaign covering the whole corporate bookmaking sector, although it did not give further details.

Entain has come under increasing criticism for the way it deals with its social responsibility and anti-money laundering obligations, and last month was fined £17 million by the Gambling Commission for violations.

On Monday, AUSTRAC chief executive Nicole Rose said corporate bookmakers shouldn’t underestimate the importance of abiding by laws designed to stop the financing of serious and organised crime.

“Reporting entities have a responsibility to ensure they identify, assess and manage risks of money laundering and terrorism financing, develop adequate processes and devote the necessary resources to comply with their … obligations (under the act),” she said.

A spokesperson for Entain said the company was “co-operating with the investigation which relates to the historical period from July 2016 to June 2020”.

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