More Problems for Entain

More Problems for Entain

Entain are facing more problems, this time down under. Australia’s financial crimes regulator has opened a probe into the British gambling company.

The company owns gambling companies such as Ladbrokes and Coral but have had a few brushes with regulators in recent months. Now they are being investigated over whether they have been complying with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) have announced that the investigation is taking place after carrying out an extensive supervisory campaign into goings on in the corporate bookmaking sector.

Nicole Rosse is the CEO of AUSTRAC and has commented on the decision. The CEO stated that reporting entities have “a responsibility to ensure they identify, assess and manage risks” when it comes to money laundering and the financing of terrorism. This includes the development of “adequate processes” and compliance with the relevant obligations using the “necessary resources.”

Entain accounts for around a sixth of the online betting market in Australia via their Ladbrokes brand. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a rise in the amount of online betting in recent years due to land-based venues being closed during a succession of lockdowns. This has led to increased amounts of revenue being earned in both 2020 and 2021.

Last year saw them attempt to buy some of the assets of Tabcorp Holdings, the second largest online betting company in Australia. They are currently in competition with their rival for state wagering licenses in Victoria and Western Australia.

It’s the latest problems for Entain who last month were fined £17 million by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). This was also regarding not complying with anti-money laundering regulations and also social responsibility.

The UKGC stressed that if there were further breaches of the terms of the licence granted to them, it could be taken away from them.
Soon after that fine came news of more legal action that is being taken against them. A former customer is claiming that he was not protected from gambling harm. He claims that Coral staff where he regularly placed huge bets allowed him to do so. That was, he says, despite the fact that he could not afford to be making such wagers and ended up suffering huge losses.

Entain have said that they are cooperating with the Australian investigation. In a statement they added that the period being looked at by AUSTRAC is from July 2016 to June 2020.