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Money laundering risks in Australian betting -

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Money laundering risks in Australian betting

Stephanie Smail reported this story on Saturday, July 23, 2011 08:24:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: An international sports law academic is warning that crime syndicates are
laundering money by betting on sports and Australia's betting industry could be a target. Jack
Anderson from Queens University in Belfast is meeting with academics and members of Australia's
sporting community next week to discuss ways to fight corruption in sport.

Australian bookies say the local industry is too heavily regulated to be exposed to money
laundering but Dr Anderson says local authorities are monitoring the situation closely.

From Brisbane, Stephanie Smail reports.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Dr Jack Anderson says sports betting is being utilised by crime syndicates across
the world.

JACK ANDERSON: The money that is being trafficked through sports-related gambling is often in plain
terms hot money, it's often the proceeds of crime. So what you have is not alone sport being
vulnerable to corruption as related to gambling, but also sport is being used as a means of money

STEPHANIE SMAIL: The Law Professor at Queens University in Belfast is researching links between
gambling, financial crime and corruption in sport. He'll share his ideas on ways to stop the
illegal activity at a workshop with academics and members of Australia's sporting community in
Queensland next week.

Jack Anderson says the issue of money laundering in sports betting needs special attention. He says
online betting is making it easy to wager dirty money on sporting codes all over the world.

JACK ANDERSON: The most recent scandal in Europe was in Finland where they have a football/soccer
league that runs through the summer, a fairly minor league. It was targeted by gamblers from
Singapore and there was a major investigation by the Finnish National Bureau of Crime Investigation
into this.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Gerard Daffy is the sports betting manager for the Australian betting agency
Sportsalive. He says the industry is heavily regulated by agencies like the anti-money laundering
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, and it would be hard for crime syndicates to
get a look in.

GERARD DAFFY: More importantly the industry, that being the bookmakers in this particular case, has
to report suspicious transactions as well as those over and above $10,000. So I don't think anybody
at all would even try and put any money through the back door through this country.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: But Dr Jack Anderson says Australia isn't immune to the risk.

JACK ANDERSON: The Australian authorities are interested, very, very much interested in it and
they've realised. But all international agencies have realised that this is an extremely, I
suppose, interesting use of money laundering techniques. Because now not only is it hot money that
you launder, but you make money as you do it.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Gerard Daffy admits there has been concerns with punters betting just below the
$10,000 threshold to escape detection or betting through TABs or casinos to avoid scrutiny.

GERARD DAFFY: I know that that's one that's been brought up in the past and one that they're
constantly looking at but of course casinos and TABs fall under the same regulations as what sports
bookmakers do and that is that they have to report suspicious transactions for anybody really.

So that's just another I guess hurdle that's put in the way.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: The Australian Federal Police says it's received a number of complaints relating
to breaches of Australia's Interactive Gambling Act, but they haven't been connected to proceeds of

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Stephanie Smail with that report.