|One of Australia’s leading betting operators, Tab, have released comments regarding new proposals by the Australian government concerning business. These proposed changes ask businesses like real estate agents, jewellers, lawyers, accountants and bookmakers to survey their clientele in an attempt to increase monitoring of money laundering within the country.|
Reactions from all industries potentially affected by the possible changes have been fierce, with reservations being expressed across the board. The proposal requires banks and other businesses dealing with large cash transactions to monitor any clients who may seem suspicious and maintain secret files about them. Any particularly or suspiciously large transactions are then to be communicated to AusTRAC, the national financial intelligence unit.
The reservations expressed so far since the planned intentions of the government have become known, concern mainly the costs of introducing such a scheme to their business practices, potential professional liability, and unclear customer confidentiality issues.
Tab has commented firstly that it already had in place strict measures through which to detect evidence of money laundering, and more particularly that the intended Aus$5000 transaction limit (the point at which transactions should be notified to AusTRAC, would hinder significantly the business’s efficiency: 'On any given day, Tab processes in excess of 1.3 million transactions, 20 per cent of which are made within one minute of the start of a race”.
Tab also released comments about the uneasy nature of such intense tracking of an individual’s wagering, and its feeling that this went against standard “privacy protection protocols”. The company also pointed out that as There had been a “leap in online wagering”, partially in Australia in reaction to the constant tightening of government laws on betting practices within the country, and that a large proportion of the sites being used by Australian players were offshore and therefore unregulated by the government, the attempts to increase local surveillance were largely futile.