SkyCity Adelaide Review Resumes Following AUSTRAC Settlement

SkyCity will not have much time to lick its wounds after getting hit with a $44.6 million anti-money laundering fine from AUSTRAC—the previously paused review into its license suitability for SkyCity Adelaide (l.) will now recommence, officials said.

SkyCity Adelaide Review Resumes Following AUSTRAC Settlement

SkyCity Entertainment announced June 12 that the suitability review for its SkyCity Adelaide casino has now recommenced after being paused since February 2023.

The break in the investigation was due to civil proceedings with Australian financial regulators AUSTRAC that culminated in a US$44.6 million fine in relation to widespread anti-money laundering violations spanning from December 2016 to December 2022.

Those proceedings came to an end when the fine was approved in federal court June 7. The company had previously set aside over $47 million in anticipation of the ruling.

In a release, the South Australian regulator Consumer and Business Services (CBS) said the inquiry, which has been led by Brian Martin AO since it originally started in July 2022, is aimed at determining if SkyCity Adelaide has been “meeting its anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing obligations and its obligations in relation to minimising gambling harm.”

Martin is now set to submit his report to Fraser Stroud, CBS’ acting liquor and gambling commissioner, by the end of the year.

“Given the AUSTRAC proceedings have now been finalised, I have determined that Mr. Martin’s review should recommence,” Stroud said in the release. “Given his knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and the considerable work he had done prior to the AUSTRAC proceedings beginning, resuming this work will be the most effective way to determine the suitability of the casino licensee.”

In light of the AUSTRAC settlement , SkyCity could very well face additional fines or, potentially, a license restriction, as has been seen with fellow operators Star Entertainment and Crown Resorts.

Both operators have been under strict scrutiny and remedial measures over the past three years—Crown has regained licenses in Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) whereas Star faces a grim outlook, especially in NSW where a decision on the future of its Sydney casino is due by the end of July.

In a statement, SkyCity said it would “continue to cooperate with Consumer and Business Services and the Acting Commissioner in relation to the independent review.”