The Victorian Greens have said the Victorian Labor Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Crown today is a story of how gambling billionaires win.
Despite the Royal Commission finding what it described as “disgraceful” behaviour by Crown for many years, including unpaid taxes, money laundering and links to international crime syndicates, the casino giant has been given a ninth life with its licence remaining intact.
The Greens say this leniency is indicative of the parasitic relationship between Crown and successive state governments that has allowed Crown to continue to operate unchecked for so long.
It is no wonder that Crown is seen as too big to fail when the Government allowed the biggest casino in the southern hemisphere to operate in Melbourne.
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said this was the biggest scandal Victoria had experienced in its corporate history and that Crown didn’t deserve another chance.
She added that while it was a step in the right direction for the Government to commit to adopting the recommendations made by the Royal Commission, it now needed to have the guts to regulate the casino properly and stop the corruption and harms.
During the last sitting week, the Greens introduced a bill that outlined how the Victorian casino should operate going forward, with or without Crown.
The Greens’ plan includes halving the number of pokies machines, fairer taxes, strong harm reduction measures and banning political donations and closing the revolving door between politics and the gambling industry.
The Greens also want to see a fair transition package provided for workers who may be impacted by changes to the casino’s operations, so that they’re supported through any upheavals.
As stated by Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“This is the biggest scandal in Victoria’s corporate history and yet its culprit is living to see another day.
“This is a story of how the gambling billionaires win. The Government has set Crown up as too big to fail, and then failed themselves to stop the corruption and gambling harms.
“So now we’re in a situation where even though a Royal Commission has found that Crown’s behaviour has been disgraceful for years, the risk of losing its licence is seen as too great.
“Well I say the risk of allowing this corporate vulture culture to continue is the real risk to the Victorian community.
“Now the Government needs to have the guts to bring Crown to heel by implementing stronger harm minimisation measures, fairer taxes and a smaller casino.”