Australia Casino Workers Fired as Illicit Gaming Investigation Continues

Posted on: February 15, 2024, 06:38h. 

Last updated on: February 16, 2024, 11:26h.

Three dealers employed by Crown Perth casino lost their licenses and jobs at the legal casino. That’s after an Australian inquiry into a separate illegal gaming den, news organizations reported this week.

Perth Gaming and Regulation Executive Director Jennifer Shelton
Gaming and Regulation Executive Director Jennifer Shelton, pictured above, announced a continuing gambling investigation in Australia. (Image: LinkedIn)

One person was arrested and the government’s Gaming and Wagering Commission fined those associated with the illegal operation, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Approximately AU$188K in cash and gaming chips were seized from the two gambling operations located near Perth, the report added.

More than AU$128K was confiscated during an April 2023 raid of a Mount Lawley business. A 35-year-old suspect was charged with money laundering, authorities said. He pleaded guilty to the charge.

In addition, more than AU$60K in cash and gaming chips were seized in December from another illicit gaming operation hidden in a Cloverdale residence, authorities said. Sixteen people were playing when the raid took place. They had been previously banned from the Crown Perth casino, officials said.

The two illegal gaming operations were closed after the raids, according to Western Australia Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia.

At the first raid, three casino employees were found to be working illegally,” Papalia told the Australian AP on Wednesday.

When asked for comment about the one-time Crown workers, a spokesman told the news agency, “We can confirm the three team members are no longer working at Crown.”

More inquiries and arrests are possible.

“Organizers and participants of unlicensed gaming events are now on notice that their activities will be investigated and action taken,” Papalia warned.

Vulnerable are Targeted

The illegal casinos target “vulnerable” players, Western Australia Gaming and Regulation Executive Director Jennifer Shelton revealed to Australia’s 9News.

These include problem gamblers, players who have excluded themselves from entering casinos, those with ties to organized crime, or those who possess wealth they can’t readily explain, she said.

These criminal organizations are targeting vulnerable individuals who are then using it for other criminal gains,” Shelton added.

Even as word of the stepped-up enforcement spreads, illegal operators will “lay low for a while. But eventually they’ll pop back up either in the same location or same premises,” she said.

Prior Incidents

Crown Casino Perth has been the subject of controversy in recent years.

Individuals pilfered a substantial sum from the casino after finding vulnerabilities in the casino’s security systems. The entirely of the Crown operation also has dealt with a money laundering scheme.  The company agreed to pay AU$680M in fines after an inquiry showed it regularly failed to protect its casinos from being used to launder money since 2020.

Founded by billionaire James Packer, Crown owns and operates three casino resorts: Crown Melbourne, Crown Perth, and Crown Sydney. The company additionally owns Crown London Aspinalls, and holds a stake in the Nobu restaurant and hotel brand.