A Greens motion condemning money laundering via poker machines and calling on the Government to urgently prioritise the development of measures that will stamp out the practice passed the NSW Legislative Council with agreement by all parties late last night.
“It’s estimated that 20 percent of poker machine turnover is related to organised crime. That means in 2014 to 2015 when the pokies saw $73.3 billion pumped through them in NSW, a staggering $14.66 billion could be contributed to criminal activity,” said Cate Faehrmann, the mover of the motion and NSW Greens MP and spokesperson for Gambling Harm.
“It’s so easy to launder money through poker machines that they are basically black market ATMs and they are conveniently located in nearly every pub and club in the state.
“You can place up to $7,500 into a poker machine at a time. But you seriously have to ask who is needing to put in that much money at a time? We may as well roll out the red carpet for crooks.
“It makes no sense that we have strict monitoring and controls around depositing cash money into a bank account but gambling winnings face nearly no scrutiny.
“It’s a failure of ClubsNSW, it’s a failure of Liquor and Gaming and it’s a failure of the Government that billions of dollars can be laundered annually right under their nose,” said Ms Faehrmann.