NSW Crime Commission invites submissions to slots inquiry

A criminal group is believed to have laundered over AU$1bn through poker machines in Australia.
A criminal group is believed to have laundered over AU$1bn through poker machines in Australia.

Michael Barnes, the Commissioner of the NSW Crime Commission, has invited submissions to the commission’s inquiry into money laundering at pubs and clubs.

Australia.- The NSW Crime Commission (NCC) and the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) have launched an inquiry to investigate money laundering using slot machines in NSW pubs and clubs. Michael Barnes, the commissioner of the NSW Crime Commission, said that as part of the inquiry, the commission was calling for submissions on the nature and extent of money laundering through licensed venues in NSW. 

Members of the public, academics with an interest in the area, current or past employees of pubs or clubs are invited to make submissions, which can be made confidential if desired. The deadline for submissions is January 28.

He stated: “Working with the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, we’ve established that last year AU$85bn was gambled in poker machines in pubs and clubs in NSW.”

Barnes added: “We expect the expert investigators, data analysts, lawyers and intelligence officers working on this project will uncover activities not previously known to operators or regulators that will assist to ensure pubs and clubs stay profitable while the community is protected.”

The State Government welcomes the NCC and ILGA inquiry

The NCC has also revealed that Premier Dominic Perrottet is pleased that Barnes has decided to initiate an inquiry into money laundering.

He said: “Money laundering and organised crime are completely unacceptable in any form. The NSW Crime Commission has the full backing of the NSW Government as they launch this inquiry.”

David Elliott, minister for police and emergency services, also welcomed the inquiry. He said: “Organised crime costs our community more than AU$36bn each year, and criminal networks are dependent on money laundering channels to legitimise the proceeds of their activities. I expect the NSW Police Force to make a submission to the inquiry.”

Over US$710m laundered through slot machines in Australia

As previously reported by Focus Gaming News, David Byrne, chief NSW gaming investigator, has revealed that a group laundered over AU$1bn (US$710m) through games machines (known as poker machines). 

He told The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes that state and federal authorities found 95,000 poker machines in New South Wales had been used to launder illegal cash.

David Byrne said his team of investigators detected 140 pubs and clubs and over 130 individual gamblers who were associated with money laundering in Sydney alone in the first four weeks after the Covid-19 lockdown ended.

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