Australia poker room operator handed $1 million fine
By Bob Garcia
Crown Casino in Australia has just been handed a $1 million fine after failing to vet foreign high rollers and seriously look into junket operators (which bring high rollers in from Asia). It’s alleged that these operators have links to organized crime.
Crown Casino houses Crown Poker Room, which is home to Australia’s largest selection of cash games and tournaments.
“The commission concluded that in respect of the analysed individuals, the processes implemented by Crown were not robust,” the commission said. “This failure meant it was unclear how certain decisions were reached by Crown and whether such decisions were made with due regard to Crown’s regulatory obligations.”
According to the commission, Crown failed to gather the required information that would help them make an informed decision about the people behind the junkets. The commission also noted that Crown failed to keep proper records regarding the junkets.
“This failure meant it was unclear how certain decisions were reached by Crown and whether such decisions were made with due regard to Crown’s regulatory obligations,” noted the commission.
The million-dollar fine is the maximum allowable under the Casino Control Act, but some argue it’s just not enough, including Samantha Ratnam, leader of the Greens.
“It shouldn’t take years of damning allegations and the announcement of a royal commission to finally spur our regulator to act,” commented Ratname. “While the fine itself will likely be nothing more than loose change to Crown, we hope this provides the government with yet another sign that it’s time to break up the gambling giant for good.”
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie agreed, noting, “The VCGLR really should be handing out fines in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars because that’s the only way to rein in a company like Crown.”