What do money laundering and gambling reform have in common? Poker machines.
You might have seen the SMH ran a story about pub and club pokies being involved in money laundering. For the last month, this has been the big topic in NSW.
The astounding evidence unfolding in the Crown casino enquiry in relation to cash transactions and junkets has highlighted the criminal aspect of the gambling industry. Literally at the eleventh hour (11pm, Tuesday 17 Nov) Crown lodged documents confirming that bank accounts they managed for gamblers were likely to have been used for money laundering. The Commissioner, Justice Bergin, was not impressed.
But money is not just “cleaned” in casinos. Every pub and club poker machine is a potential criminal accessory. It’s easy to convert illegally obtained cash into an apparently legitimate “pokie win”. We know from a whistleblower there are few checks and balances in place.
The Alliance has been urging NSW politicians to act to stop the same dirty money washing through suburban pubs and clubs. We’re collecting signatures on our pledge to back up our plan to move the pokies to a cashless system. It will significantly reduce money laundering in pubs and clubs. It will also back up the self and third party exclusion reforms currently on the table in NSW, which are being strongly resisted by the gambling industry.