MPs call for Royal Commission into NSW gambling industry

The gaming industry in New South Wales is under scrutiny.
The gaming industry in New South Wales is under scrutiny.

The MPs argue that there is evidence of extensive money laundering at pubs and clubs in the state.

Australia.- Two MPs have called for a Royal Commission to investigate the gambling industry in New South Wales (NSW). The motion was tabled by Greens MP Cate Faehrmann in the Upper House and independent member for Murray Helen Dalton in the Lower House. 

Faehrmann said documents produced by an order for papers by both houses show that the former head of the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA), Philip Crawford, had written to then Minister for Gaming Victor Dominello in November 2021, requesting the government establish a Special Commission of Inquiry into money laundering in hotels and registered clubs.

Crawford’s letter stated: “clear evidence that money laundering appears to be just as prevalent in hotels and clubs as it has been found to be in the casino industry if not more so given that there are close to 2,500 venues in NSW authorised to operate gambling machines and that this project focused on only a select number of venues”

Faehrmann said: “These revelations are, in the words of the former head of the gambling regulator, ‘deeply concerning’ and must be enough for the Premier to act. More than 18 months ago now, the former Government was provided with alarming evidence of the extent of money laundering in pubs and clubs, including that 41 per cent of money laundering activity was taking place at just ten venues.

“Their response was to sack the Minister who was wanting action and replace him with the National Party’s Kevin Anderson who halted any further investigations and gutted the investigations unit.

“The fact that these documents weren’t produced for the NSW Crime Commission’s investigations into money laundering is incredibly concerning and suggests a cover-up from either within the former Minister’s office or Liquor and Gaming NSW, or both. The public needs to know whether successive governments have turned a blind eye to the actions of individual venues in money laundering.

“With everything that has now come to light, there’s more than enough evidence for a Royal Commission into the gambling industry in NSW. “It’s clear that the gambling industry has had an undue influence on our democracy and it’s time a spotlight was shone on all aspects of the industry and that influence.”

See also: Australia: NSW to investigate claims regulator tipped off gaming venues

In this article: