Perth Casino Royal Commission calls for public submissions after allegations of illegal activity

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The royal commission into Crown Perth is calling on anyone with knowledge of improper gambling practices — from money laundering to criminal infiltration to problem gambling — to speak with them.

The list includes past and present employees of Crown Perth and the West Australian government, as well as casino patrons and their families.

The call comes after media reports into allegations of illegal activity at Crown casino in Melbourne and as the royal commission prepares to begin witness hearings to determine whether Crown Perth is a suitable holder of a casino licence.

This week, the ABC’s Four Corners program aired the concerns of former casino inspectors about how the Victorian gambling regulator had failed to keep organised crime from infiltrating Crown Melbourne.

A royal commission into Crown Melbourne’s suitability to hold a Victorian casino licence was told that company managers threatened the regulator when it tried to get Crown to tighten its anti-money laundering rules.

Commission investigating casino regulation

Both the Victorian and WA royal commissions were prompted by the Bergin report in New South Wales, which found that Crown Resorts was not fit to hold a licence for its planned casino at Barangaroo in Sydney.

But unlike the Victorian inquiry, the WA royal commission is also looking at whether the regulation of the casino is adequate, including in addressing risks like junkets, money laundering and criminal activity.

This was the focus of the first session of hearings, which ran on a tight schedule, with commissioners sometimes having to run concurrent hearings to meet the interim report deadline of June 30.

It heard that Crown Perth inspectors were told they were not responsible for investigating criminal activity or money laundering.

It was also told of how the WA gaming regulator, the Gaming and Wagering Commission (GWC), decided to abolish the regulation of junkets, a move requested by Crown Perth.

Interim report tabled in August

The interim report will be tabled in the WA Parliament when it resumes in August after the winter break.

But the second stage of the royal commission — which will look at Crown’s suitability to hold a casino licence in WA — will already have started, with opening statements slated to be delivered on July 23.

The deadline for providing information or a submission, which can be confidential, is August 2.

By Rebecca Turner (Original ABC Article)