Australian Gambling Companies May Have To Return Stolen Funds If Bill Passed

A new piece of legislation has been brought to the Australian parliament that would force gambling companies to return stolen funds that have been wagered on their platforms. You don’t have to worry about handing back your winnings when playing online at PlayAmo, as all withdrawals are guaranteed.

An anti-gambling politician by the name of MP Andrew Wilkie wants gambling companies to hand over stolen funds and proceeds of crime. Wilkie wants the funds to be sent to the police, who then can disperse the money to the victims.

In addition, the piece of legislation would make it a legal requirement for betting operators to report individuals who they suspect of dealing in the proceeds of crime to the police.

Wilkie said that criminals use gambling to launder money, and this bill will prevent them from using gambling as a means to obfuscate their nefarious earnings. He said just like pawn shops can not hold onto stolen goods, neither should betting companies.

He said that currently, some gambling companies, particularly ones that are not performing due diligence on their customers, are benefiting from stolen money and the proceeds of crime.

An Unlikely Supporter Of The Bill

One man who is hoping the piece of legislation is passed is disgraced former investment advisor Gavin Fineff. The financial advisor stole more than $5 million from clients and claims to have lost it all gambling. His former clients have lost their savings, and the gambling companies are under no obligation to hand over the money. Fineff said if the bill was around when he was stealing the money, his clients would have been able to receive higher compensation.

Australia Government Taking Inspiration From The UK

While the Australian legislation would take things a step further and actually make betting companies legally liable, the UK does have a system to handle stolen funds. 

Currently, the gambling authorities dish out huge fines to UK betting companies if they do not do their due diligence and find out the source of the funds of their customers. They must also keep an eye on existing players to identify if their betting habits change.

If a company refuses to pay the fine, they are unable to operate in the UK market. Even if the fine is in the millions, it usually makes commercial sense for the gambling company to pay the fine and continue to operate.

The fines are typically proportional to the amount that was stolen and lost on the site. One prominent UK betting company has previously been fined millions for allowing a number of players to lose seven figures of ill-gotten gains on their site.

One of the criminals stole over $1 million from a charity and spent it all on online gaming. This man ended up being sent to prison for four years. The man was unable to repay the charity, but most of the money was able to be recovered from the online betting company who was forced to pay a hefty fine to ensure they kept their gaming license.

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