Currently, one of the most buzzworthy subjects in our industry revolves around the trials of cashless gaming and their potential impact on curtailing money laundering in Australian Club and Pub venues, particularly from major criminal groups. The recent focus by the media of instances caused by money laundering within one of Australia’s largest casino organisations has not only heightened public consciousness about this matter, but also spurred governmental interventions.

As reported by the Australian Institute of Criminology in 2020-21, there was an approximate loss of $60.1 billion to illicit activities, prompting the question: Is your venue undertaking measures to safeguard your Board, Management team, and staff from a money laundering breach?

Operating within Australia’s hospitality sector presents unique challenges in combating money laundering. The covert nature of such activities poses numerous obstacles in terms of detection and prevention, requiring venues to establish comprehensive risk management strategies relevant to their venue.

As per AUSTRAC’s requirement for reporting entities to document their Anti Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) program, unique to the organisation’s risk profile, there is increased pressure on hospitality venues to meet compliance guidelines. Moreover, it is crucial to ensure everyone from your front-line team to the Board understand their obligations detailed in their AML/CTF programs, including the requirement for risk awareness training.

Not only is providing Employee AML/CTF Risk Awareness Training a regulatory requirement for venues offering gambling facilities, but it is also prudent to ensure all stakeholders possess a solid understanding of your venue’s controls and compliance with Australian law. This is paramount as your Board holds significant responsibility in guaranteeing compliance with AML/CTF regulations to avert potential prosecution, given that they could be held personally liable if circumstances deviate from the norm. Individuals found implicated in or complicit with civil penalty provisions outlined in the AML/CTF Act face significant legal and financial consequences.

For venues, particularly those operating gaming machines, the significant impact that thorough AML and CTF training to employees and the Board cannot be overstated. A well-trained team will be equipped with the requisite knowledge to identify suspicious activities and adhere to regulatory standards.

In response to these challenges, CTA Training Specialists, now offers tailored AML/CTF courses designed for senior management, boards and front-line staff within the hospitality industry. CTA’s flexible, online AML & CTF courses provide essential knowledge and skills to effectively monitor venues for suspicious activities and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements mandates.

Addressing the threats posed by money laundering and terrorism financing requires a coordinated effort from all stakeholders. By implementing robust training programs and adopting proactive compliance measures, the hospitality industry can mitigate risks and uphold the integrity of Australia’s financial system.