AFP Close Tabcorp Cambodian Bribery Case

A three-year inquiry into allegations of bribery against lotteries and betting operator Tabcorp was closed by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) owing to a absence of proof.

According to Australian media reports, the AFP will not take any further action on the issue, explaining that there was not enough proof to support a criminal prosecution.

Tabcorp, who noted that the inquiry had cooperated completely, welcomed the case’s conclusion.

The investigation began back in 2016, following allegations made in an Australian newspaper that in 2009 or 2010, Tabcorp made a payment to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family.

The payment was supposedly created as part of the operator’s attempts to secure the country’s online gaming license, with Cambodia considering allowing internet sports betting afterwards. At the time Tabcorp said it had decided not to follow the option.

Within days of the launch of the investigation, former CEO of Tabcorp, Elmer Funke Kupper, stepped down from his position on the board of the company.

At the time of the supposed payment he had served as CEO, but had since moved on to become Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) chief executive. He initially took leave of his executive and director roles until completion of the investigation, before finally resigning.

In 2015, the state of Cambodia finally started providing online gaming licenses. However, it stopped issuing fresh igaming licenses in August, following pressure from China and public concerns over illegal operators, before Premier Hun Sen ordered the sector to be shut down by the end of the year.