Misconduct at Crown casino is being ignored by authorities because whistleblowers who “fear for their safety” want to remain anonymous, anti-gambling campaigner Andrew Wilkie says.
The independent Tasmanian MP says the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation overlooked the allegations during a recent review of Crown’s licence, despite him using parliament to detail serious allegations of misconduct last year and setting up meetings with the commission since.
“I wrote to the VCGLR three weeks ago about loss of confidence in its ability to investigate alleged wrongdoings at Crown Casino,” Mr Wilkie said in a statement on Wednesday.
“There’s been no response, so today I’m releasing this information because the public has a right to know how the Victorian State Government and its gambling regulator operate.”
He described the issue as “particularly important” as the state government considers the VCGLR’s secret review about whether Crown is a suitable entity to hold a casino licence.
Mr Wilkie’s letter outlines concerns that the VCGLR is raising barriers to prevent a proper investigation into whistleblower allegations, including the use of Crown-issued picks to tamper with poker machines, the issuing of multiple loyalty cards and encouraging the setting of million-dollar betting limits.
He described commission’s alleged inaction as “unfathomable”, in light of police and regulators often seeking anonymous sources for investigations, with Crime Stoppers making it a “virtue”.