The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has advised the Victorian Premier to set aside the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation’s recommendation to extend Crown’s casino licence.
“The Victorian Premier must set aside the VCGLR’s advice to renew Crown’s casino licence because it is patently unsound,” Mr Wilkie said.
“The fact is there are too many unresolved investigations and allegations concerning Crown and this must be remedied before the Victorian Government can effectively consider the renewal of Crown’s licence to operate a casino. As things stand there is no way the Government can accurately assess if Crown is fit and proper to have another licence.
A summary of the status of the allegations is as follows:
• Use of blanking buttons to illegally modify poker machines. Allegation found to be correct by VCGLR and Crown fined $300,000.
• Use of plastic picks to illegally modify poker machines. VCGLR inquiry ongoing.
• Use of multiple loyalty cards to allow simultaneous play on multiple poker machines. VCGLR inquiry ongoing.
• Domestic violence. Not investigated by VCGLR because, the Commission claims, there are no corroborating Victoria Police or Crown reports, and because the Commission feels that Crown’s response to misconduct in the hotel areas is not relevant to whether or not Crown is a fit and proper operator of a casino.
• Illegal drug use. Not investigated by VCGLR because, the Commission claims, there are no corroborating Victoria Police or Crown reports, and because the Commission feels that Crown’s response to misconduct in the hotel areas is not relevant to whether or not Crown is a fit and proper operator of a casino.
• Money laundering. Not investigated by VCGLR because the Commission’s view is that this is a matter for other agencies such as AUSTRAC.
“I continue to be approached by whistleblowers alleging serious misconduct at Crown, which is all the more reason for the allegations already at hand to be thoroughly investigated before the licence is renewed.
“I call on Mr Andrews to listen to community concern and set aside this recommendation.”
Download a copy of Wilkie’s letter to the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Matthew Guy MP, and the IBAC Commissioner, the Hon Robert Redlich QC:
Authorised by Andrew Wilkie MP 188 Collins St Hobart