Australia: Queensland passes money laundering laws restricting cash gambling at casinos

Queensland has implemented legislation aimed at curbing money laundering and protecting problem gamblers, which includes restrictions on cash gambling at the state’s casinos, following the passage of the bill in parliament on Wednesday.

Under the new laws, Queenslanders will be prohibited from gambling more than a few hundred dollars in cash at casinos in a single day. The legislation, advocated for by former judge Robert Gotterson in a 2022 report into casino operator Star Entertainment, seeks to close loopholes that have allowed individuals banned from gambling interstate due to alleged criminal ties to wager in Queensland.

Attorney General Yvette D’Ath hailed the reforms as “among the most significant steps taken to reduce gambling harm in any jurisdiction in this country in the history of gambling regulation.” The bill enforces mandatory pre-commitment requirements, gambling breaks, and an enforceable casino code of conduct.

To address money laundering, casinos will be restricted from accepting more than a prescribed amount of cash from a person for gambling-related transactions in a 24-hour period,” said D’Ath.

The cash limit, likely to be around AUD1,000, will be set through regulation in alignment with Gotterson’s recommendations. Additionally, the legislation imposes controls on direct marketing by casino operators and enables the government to collect information about gamblers’ losses for research purposes and to identify gambling-related harm and potential money laundering activity.