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WA regulators and politicians silent after bombshell Crown report

Gareth Parker
Article image for WA regulators and politicians silent after bombshell Crown report

West Australian gambling regulators are scrambling after a damning report found Crown unfit to run its Sydney casino over allegations the company facilitated money laundering at its Perth and Melbourne sites.

The 800-page bombshell report tabled in New South Wales parliament yesterday lashed Crown Perth for doing nothing about suspicious transactions raised by ANZ in 2014.

The series of payments fell below the mandatory reporting limit.

Findings have led to Sydney’s new Crown tower remaining without its casino indefinitely.

The report recommends major changes to Crown including the potential departure of some directors, if the gambling giant is to become a suitable licensee in Sydney.

In a statement WA’s Gaming and Wagering Commission said it won’t comment on the report until after it meets in two weeks’ time

“The Gaming and Wagering Commission will consider the report and its findings and recommendations at its meeting on 23 February 2021,” a spokesperson said.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson admitted allegations of money laundering at Crown Perth are of ‘serious concern’ and said they are always investigating potential crimes at the casino.

There are now calls for the major parties in WA to refuse any future donations from Crown in light of the report.

According to Australian Electoral Commission figures, WA’s major parties accepted a collective $88,000 from Crown in 2019-20.

On 6PR Breakfast this morning, gambling researcher at Monash University, Dr Charles Livingstone accused politicians of sweeping the issue under the rug.

“Political parties on both sides of the fence over many years have made it clear to them that they don’t want the apple cart upset,” he said.

“They like the money flowing in, they like the jobs and the employment and the tourism opportunities.

“They don’t want to look too closely in case they discover that the whole thing is rotten.”

Both the state government and WA opposition have declined to comment on the report.

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: Getty Images.)

Gareth Parker