Crown Casino Has Been Accused Of Poker Machine Tampering

Crown Casino Has Been Accused Of Poker Machine Tampering

The whistleblowers allege the agency charged with overseeing the casino is instead complicit in criminal misconduct.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie brought forth video evidence from three former staff at Melbourne's Crown Casino, as the Victorian Government conducts its five-yearly review of the casino's licence.

Staff also alleged that marijuana was smoked daily in the Teak Room, the lowest of the VIP gaming rooms, and that they had been told to turn a blind eye to domestic violence by global gamblers so they could continue gambling.

On Wednesday, under parliamentary privilege in the Federation Chamber - an alternative venue to the lower house that allows two debates to occur concurrently - Wilkie said he had verified the identities of the three former Crown employees, who made a wide range of allegations against Crown Casino.

One staff member also alleged that Crown management had them "shave down" buttons on gaming machines to allow illegal continuous play on the machines.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said an anti-money laundering regulator, Austrac, would investigate a claim that staff were told to use different player ID cards when processing transactions over A$10,000 (£6,000; $8,000).

"If these allegations are true, then Crown would be facilitating money-laundering for any number of nefarious reasons, like tax fraud, drug-running and even terrorism", Wilkie said under parliamentary privilege that grants MPs legal immunity.

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The identities of the whistleblowers were obscured in the video evidence tabled to parliament, but Mr Wilkie said they had been confirmed by him. The convictions raised questions about Crown's future ability to attract Chinese high rollers to its Australian casinos in Melbourne and Perth.

"Many laws have possibly been broken and the truth will not be unearthed without a parliament inquiry", he said.

The other claims will be "thoroughly investigated" by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, it confirmed.

"There are gambling regulators in Victoria, and no doubt they need to investigate", he told reporters in Canberra.

Drug use in VIP rooms was also common, the men claimed, particularly marijuana, which they said was seen and smelled on a daily basis.

Crown said in a statement that it rejected the allegations and that Wilkie should "immediately provide to the relevant authorities all information relating to the matters alleged".

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