The Victorian Greens have welcomed the state government’s decision to fast-track an investigation into Crown’s Victorian licence, but are calling for that licence to be suspended until the investigation has concluded.
In light of the damning evidence that has come out of the NSW inquiry into Crown - including bags of cash under desks, tampering with poker machine controls and money laundering - it is unfathomable that the government would allow Crown to retain its Victorian licence until a thorough investigation has taken place.
The Greens also want to see an independent investigation into the VCGLR, to investigate how it allowed Crown to get away with the outrageous and potentially unlawful conduct uncovered in the inquiry.
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said that while Crown was a high roller in the gambling industry, that didn’t mean it shouldn’t play by the same rules as everyone else.
She added that the independent investigation into Crown’s licence was long overdue, and that sadly it had taken a NSW inquiry to spur our state government to act.
The government's announcement follows repeated questioning of the Premier by the Greens in Parliament over nearly two years, on why Crown continues to hold its licence and the efficacy of our regulator.
The Premier, as recently as last week, brushed these questions off. But now it seems the government is willing to admit there is a problem.
Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
"The Greens have repeatedly called on the state government to curb Crown’s unacceptable behaviour, but sadly it has taken a NSW inquiry to spur them to act.
"Given the damning evidence coming out of the inquiry - including bags of cash under desks, tampering with poker machine controls and money laundering - Crown shouldn’t be allowed to retain its Victorian licence while this investigation takes place.
"It is outrageous that Crown has been allowed to engage in behaviour like this. For years the state government has turned a blind eye to Crown, while our regulator has been utterly ineffectual.
"That’s why we also want to see an independent inquiry into the VCGLR, to investigate how it allowed Crown to get away with the outrageous and potentially unlawful conduct uncovered during the inquiry for so long."