15 December, 2021
A PDF version of the media release is available for download here
NSW citizens should be shocked at the news that the gambling industry’s influence extends to picking and choosing Ministers, says the Alliance for Gambling Reform. Victor Dominello, who has worked hard for two years simply to bring in overdue reforms to reduce gambling harm, faces losing this key public health portfolio in alarming news today.
The continuing silence from the Premier, despite calls by police and the independent regulator, around a public judicial inquiry suggests that the gambling business is also able to prevent investigation of money-laundering activities in this state.
Tim Costello, the Chief Advocate for the Alliance says:
“After a year of ClubsNSW and its parliamentary allies implying that money-laundering was only a problem in casinos, it is now very clear that organised crime uses suburban and rural pubs and clubs as laundries from one end of the state to the other.
You’ve got families having dinner in their local pub and just metres away drug money is being washed clean in the poker machines.
“A judicial inquiry will have the power, the independence and the scope to get to the heart of this crisis. They will be unafraid to speak truth to power and put the safety and wellbeing of our community first.
“Victor Dominello has been the first Minister I’ve worked alongside in my 25 years of campaigning to attempt to proactively address these systemic issues. If he is taken away in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle it will be a telltale sign that the industry, not the Premier, is calling the shots.
“This state must continue to have a minister responsible for the regulation of gambling who has no financial interest in any gambling activity. We deserve a truly independent Minister. It is a matter of integrity. It could be a matter for ICAC.
“Josh Landis from ClubsNSW is now claiming that his sector has not been able to act because the regulations don’t permit it. We suggest that if pubs and clubs can exclude people for wearing thongs and singlets in breach of a dress code, they can probably keep organized crime out too.
Tim is available for further comment.
Media contact: Matthew Thompson or Kate da Costa – 0491 209 436 / [email protected]