NSW Premier Says Allegations of Gaming Regulator’s Tipping-Off Clubs of Compliance Checks Should be Investigated
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia (August 8, 2023) — Revelations the state’s gaming regulator routinely tips off pubs and clubs ahead of random compliance checks are “hugely concerning,” NSW Premier Chris Minns is reported to have said.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported documents tabled in parliament reveal the industry’s peak body, ClubsNSW, emailed club owners in February last year warning the regulator was starting “gambling harm-minimisation compliance inspections” across Sydney to ensure correct positioning of signage and gaming machines.
In a written statement, the regulator Liquor and Gambling NSW said it routinely issues industry-wide communications to inform peak bodies or venues of upcoming random inspections.
“Those inspections may then be overt or covert,” they said.
On Sunday, the ABC reported the premier said his government would look into the issue.
“That is a hugely concerning allegation and it needs to be thoroughly investigated,” he said.
“There needs to be community confidence that the laws that are in place already are being observed and complied with.”
The ABC reported the internal Liquor and Gaming documents, which were tabled after inquiries from Independent MP Alex Greenwich, also reveal an email between two public servants in February 2022, where one raised a concern about working with a known “money-laundering club”.
“Is there a conflict that we know that [redacted] Club is the largest money laundering club in NSW and we are partnering with them in an anti-gambling initiative?” the email read.
Mr Greenwich said the documents raised questions about the organisation’s credibility.
“My confidence as liquor gaming as a regulator has certainly reduced as a result of reviewing these documents,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Liquor and Gaming NSW said that email: “was written by a former employee and the opinion expressed is not endorsed by L&GNSW.”
“The premises mentioned in the email has not been the subject of any adverse findings in relation to money laundering,” she said.
SOURCE: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).Tags: Clubs Compliance Checks, Liquor and Gambling NSW, gaming regulator, NSW