Crossbench MPs from Hinch’s Justice Party, Shooters and Fishers, Animal Justice and Transport Matters joined Labor MPs today to vote down a proposal to investigate why the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) ignored alleged serious crime at Crown Casino.
Government MPs and those crossbenchers that supported Labor will go to bed tonight knowing that they voted for a cover-up.
Labor MPs today turned themselves inside out in an effort to explain why there should be no independent examination of the regulator.
Even Crown has admitted it has problems. It seems the only ones in denial are Labor and its mates on the crossbench.
Labor’s links to Crown Casino run deep:
The Premier’s own former senior spin doctor runs government relations at Crown and was dragged into view during the Royal Commission when a Crown official alleged he told her during a phone call with the regulator to threaten to call the Minister.
Crown also thought it acceptable to send Labor’s current Gaming Minister a letter with the Royal Commission underway warning that they are too big to fail.
Labor ignored a damning Auditor-General’s report into the regulator in 2017.
Former gaming inspectors have stated that “a lot of the things that we would report up the chain … just disappeared into oblivion, we never heard of any further about it,” and “money laundering has been going on at the casino for many years and the regulator has known about it for a long time”.
A former Labor Gaming Minister has told the media that Daniel Andrews has a history of shutting down conversations about Crown Casino.
The media have also reported a senior Labor figure saying that it’s well known in the Labor Party room that you don’t upset the Packers or Crown.
Despite these concerns, and allegations of tax avoidance and criminality brought to light by the Royal Commission, Labor MPs and their lackies on the crossbench don’t want to know how it has all gone so wrong.
The whole thing stinks to high heaven. Those MPs who today voted against truth and transparency need to explain to the Victorian community why they have endorsed a cover-up.
Steph Ryan MP
Shadow Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulations