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AUSTRAC and the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) have strengthened their cooperation in the fight against serious financial crime through the signing of an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The MOU will enable AUSTRAC and VGCCC to share information to protect the community by strengthening the gambling sector against criminal abuse. AUSTRAC also has MOUs with state and territory-based gambling regulators in NSW, QLD and ACT to enable strong partnerships and collaboration.
The VGCCC works with a range of state and federal regulators and agencies to ensure the integrity of Victoria’s gambling and liquor industries.
AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose said the MOU is an important step in the fight against financial and serious crime, and it confirms the commitment by both agencies to collaborate and exchange financial intelligence.
“The impact on the community of criminals exploiting the gambling industry to launder the proceeds of serious crime cannot be underestimated. It is critical for AUSTRAC and its state and territory-based regulatory and Government partners to work together to ensure the gambling industry is hardened against misuse by criminals,” Ms Rose said.
Adam Ockwell, VGCCC Executive Director of Compliance, said the updated MOU will provide designated VGCCC staff access to AUSTRAC’s financial intelligence database.
This includes access to financial transaction information and suspicious matter reports from businesses to enable the VGCCC to identify and investigate threats facing the Victorian gambling sector and to refer to and assist law enforcement agencies in investigating criminal activity.
The new agreement takes the existing MOU to the next level and enables better information sharing and cooperative regulatory oversight.
“Having faster access to AUSTRAC’s financial intelligence will strengthen our work in identifying any emerging financial crime issues so we can take appropriate regulatory action, including education measures, to minimise harm, protect the community and ensure the integrity of the gambling industries in Victoria.
“It is an object of the Acts we administer to ensure that gambling activities in Victoria are free from criminal influence and exploitation,” said Mr Ockwell.