Legislative Council: Wednesday, February 07, 2024


Answers to Questions

Adelaide Casino

In reply to the Hon. F. PANGALLO ().31 October 2023).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs has advised:

To be clear from the outset, the action currently being taken against SkyCity Adelaide Pty Ltd (SkyCity Adelaide) in the Federal Court of Australia is at the instigation of the federal anti-money laundering regulator, AUSTRAC, for alleged conduct in breach of Australian anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws at the Adelaide Casino, not for a breach of any state-based legislation. They are civil proceedings and will therefore not result in a guilty plea or a finding of guilt in relation to criminal charges. They may, however, result in findings or admissions in relation to conduct alleged by AUSTRAC.

Notwithstanding SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd's recent comments about the proceedings, they are still ongoing and accordingly it would not be appropriate to pre-empt the final outcome or scale of pecuniary penalty. I can assure the honourable member that any relevant findings coming out of the AUSTRAC proceedings before the court, will inform the advice provided to the government and any subsequent action taken by the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner (commissioner).

If the commissioner finds that there is proper cause for disciplinary action against SkyCity Adelaide, existing powers afforded by the parliament under part 5 of the Gambling Administration Act 2019 allow the commissioner to—

impose a monetary penalty not exceeding $100,000

issue a direction

issue a compliance notice

issue a default notice

issue a reprimand, fine or give directions as to the winding up of operations

suspend the casino licence for a specified or unlimited period

cancel or revoke the casino licence

if the casino licence is cancelled or revoked—disqualify a relevant person from being approved under a South Australian gambling act permanently or for a specified time.

Holding South Australia's sole casino licence is a significant responsibility and one that the government expects the operator of the Adelaide Casino to uphold respectfully and in full obeyance of the legislative scheme. SkyCity has, as the honourable member is aware, been directed by the commissioner to prepare a program of work to strengthen its activities to combat money laundering and counter-terrorism funding (AML/CTF), as well as its responsibilities to protect people at risk of gambling-related harm.

This work is being monitored by Kroll Australia Pty Ltd, who is reviewing SkyCity Adelaide's AML/CTF and host responsibility enhancement programs, will monitor the implementation of those programs and is monitoring its compliance with its ongoing regulatory obligations relating to AML/CTF and gambling harm minimisation. As further details come to hand, the commissioner will be better positioned to decide about SkyCity's ongoing suitability to hold the casino licence. The number of compliance checks conducted by government inspectors in relation to the Adelaide Casino in 2021-22 and 2022-23 are as follows:

Financial Year Number of Compliance Checks
2021-22 2 272
2022-23 2 223

In comparison to the four previous financial years, the number of compliance checks have increased.