Explosive new evidence provided to the Crown Royal Commission today has alleged Crown staff threatened Victoria’s gambling regulator after it recommended Crown take action against money laundering at the casino.
The evidence, provided by Crown’s group executive general manager, regulatory and compliance, Michelle Fielding, also named a former adviser to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) recommended in June 2018, that “by 1 July 2019, Crown undertake a robust review (with external assistance) of relevant internal control statements, including input from AUSTRAC, to ensure that anti-money laundering risks are appropriately addressed” (Sixth Review of the Casino Operator and Licence, p 14).
Ms Fielding alleged she was advised to call the regulator.
QUESTIONER (Crown Royal Commission, 28 June 2021): “Do you think it’s an appropriate thing to do, to ring the, an investigator or a person at the VCGLR and threaten to call the Minister?”
The Royal Commission heard today that the former Andrews Government adviser, who later quit to work at Crown, was allegedly involved in “prompting” the Casino’s response.
Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Steph Ryan
This raises further serious questions on the Andrews Labor Government’s murky relationship with Crown.
Daniel Andrews can’t ignore allegations one of his former advisers was involved in a threat to bring in Labor’s Minister to stop the gaming regulator doing its job.
This is the Royal Commission Daniel Andrews never wanted to have.
It would be damning for the Premier to stand by and allow these fresh allegations to be swept under the carpet.