In 2013 I led opposition to laws that were rushed through Parliament with the support of both government and opposition to let James Packer build a second Sydney casino. The legislation followed heavy lobbying by Crown that saw rules around unsolicited proposals relaxed and public waterfront land on our iconic harbour handed to a developer for a tower. Thanks to investigative journalism, we got an inquiry in Crown’s fitness to hold a casino licence which confirmed the concerns I warned about nine years ago: that casinos are hotbeds for crime and problem gambling.
Last week the government introduced legislation to implement one of the recommendations that came out of the inquiry to create a regulatory authority dedicated entirely to casino regulation and enforcement. I worked with Wesley Mission to successfully move amendments that strengthen gambling harm minimisation protections for the new authority, importantly creating a new advisory committee on gambling harm. My amendments will also see the introduction of gambling cards brought forward, all casino staff undergo money-laundering training, and obligations on casinos to take all reasonable steps to exclude persons who are problem gamblers. My speech during debate > HERE.
The inquiry found that Crown was not fit to hold a licence and I voted for a Greens’ amendment to exclude Crown from obtaining a licence, however the government and opposition blocked it.
Money laundering is apparently easy. See The conversation article about gambling as the perfect avenue > HERE.