Cate Faehrmann, the spokesperson for Gambling Harm Reduction and a Member of Parliament from the Greens Party, has given notice of a motion in the Upper House of Parliament, urging the Government to establish a Royal Commission into the New South Wales’ (NSW) gambling sector. Ms Faehrmann has addressed the leaders of all political parties and the crossbenchers to support the motion.
Helen Dalton, an Independent Member of Parliament, has given notice of the same motion in the Lower House of Parliament.
The call to the NSW Government comes after an order for papers by both Houses of Parliament ended up with the provision of the necessary documents. The papers showed that Philip Crawford, the former leader of the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA), wrote to then-Minister for Gaming Victor Dominello on November 30th, 2021, asking the Government to set out a Special Commission of Inquiry into alleged money laundering activities in local clubs and hotels.
The letter sent by Mr Crawford also stated that the investigation of the ILGA provided clear evidence that the money laundering activities in local hotels and clubs are just as prevalent as they have been in the casino sector, if not even more so. According to the gathered evidence, there are about 2,500 venues in New South Wales that are allowed to host and operate gambling machines.
Illegal Money Laundering Taking Place for Years in NSW Clubs, Hotels and Gambling Industry
Apart from that, the probe also revealed that a massive amount of money laundering was taking place in a few venues. The Gambling Harm Reduction spokesperson, Ms Faehrmann, described those revelations as “deeply concerning” and shared that, in her opinion, they must be absolutely enough for the Premier to act.
More than a year and a half ago, the ex-Government was informed that the extent of money laundering in local clubs and pubs. At the time, it was unveiled that about 41% of that money laundering activity was taking place at just ten venues in New South Wales. The only response these revelations got, however, was the dismissal of the Minister who was calling for action and his replacement with Kevin Anderson from the National Party who brought any further investigations to a standstill.
Ms Faehrmann believes that the fact that these documents were not produced for the investigations that were carried out by the NSW Crime Commission into alleged money laundering was quite concerning and suggested that either the Minister’s office or the NSW gambling regulator, or both, did some cover-up. According to her, the public has to know the truth of whether successive Governments have turned a blind eye to the illegal money laundering that has been taking place at various venues.
With the revelations that have recently come to light, Ms Faehrmann believes there is more than enough evidence for a Royal Commission to be appointed and further investigate the gambling industry in New South Wales. She, however, fears that the sector has a massive influence on local politicians that can once again cover up some of the illegal activities findings.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.