Evidence presented at the NSW Casino Inquiry should lead to the immediate suspension of operation at the Melbourne and Perth Crown casinos.
The NSW inquiry was told by Counsel assisting, Adam Bell SC, that the Crown group was not a “suitable person” to hold the licence to its new $2.2bn casino at Barangaroo, and that Crown Resorts is not a suitable person to be a close associate of the licensee.
“If Crown is not fit and proper to hold a casino licence in NSW, how can Crown be trusted to run a casino anywhere in Australia?” Mr Wilkie asked.
“Let’s not forget, the evidence used to recommend against the NSW licence was based on how Crown currently runs Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth.”
Video of money laundering taking place at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, as well as video-taped evidence from Crown employees of other serious misconduct and criminality, was initially revealed by Mr Wilkie in Federal Parliament. It subsequently formed part of the compelling evidence at the NSW Casino Inquiry.
Mr Wilkie commended the brave whistleblowers who came forward because they were deeply concerned about the conduct of Crown.
“Without these brave people, the truth about Crown’s conduct may never have come to light,” Mr Wilkie said.
Mr Wilkie called on the Victorian and NSW Premiers to suspend activities at both casinos immediately.
“An immediate suspension is particularly important in Victoria where the regulator, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, has failed disgracefully to do its job,” Mr Wilkie said.
“The VCGLR has allowed criminality and money laundering to flourish at Melbourne’s Crown Casino.”
Crown Sydney was due to open in next month. But it’s unclear whether this will now happen.