Australian media have reported that a criminal group laundered over AU$1bn (US$710m) through poker machines in Australia’s clubs, pubs and casinos.
Australia.- 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.
The investigation involved surveillance of CCTV footage from the Tiger Airport site in central Sydney, which captured a money-laundering syndicate. The group had two methods. A small number of people worked on connected gaming machines to find an almost guaranteed jackpot, while another person put banknotes into two poker machines at the same time.
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.
He said: “I don’t think that clubs, where good, family orientated people across NSW go to have dinner, want patrons to be walking past organised criminals laundering cash. I think, based on what we’re finding, the pokies venues need a wake-up call, definitely.”