Economy

Australia's Crown hit by accusations of poker machine-fixing, shares tumble

"Crown rejects the allegations made today under parliamentary privilege by Mr Andrew Wilkie MP, as reported in the media, concerning the improper manipulation of poker machines and other illegal or improper conduct at Crown Casino in Melbourne", it said in a statement.

On the recording, unidentified people accuse Crown's flagship casino in Melbourne of fixing poker machines to remove built-in controls created to regulate gambling rates. "The truth will not be uncovered without a parliamentary inquiry, as well as investigations by law enforcement and regulatory agencies".

Mr Wilkie tabled the allegations in the Federation Chamber this morning, in what is believed to be the first instance of video evidence being tabled in Parliament.

Australia's Crown Resorts Ltd (AX:) was hit by allegations of tampering with poker machines on Wednesday when a lawmaker tabled a video of whistleblowers in parliament, sending shares in the casino firm sliding.

One of the alleged Crown whistleblowers also recalled a gambler who was given a fresh pair of trousers because they urinated on themselves after gambling for so long.

"If the allegations are true, it does suggest there is a systemic problem rather than a rogue individual", said Mr Wilkie, an anti-gambling campaigner.

The Member for Denison said Crown's toleration and alleged encouragement of the misuse of identification documents to avoid detection by AUSTRAC was a concern.

The casino also overlooked drug use and domestic violence incidents, and tried to avoid reporting some transactions to authorities, the former employees say.

This, Mr Wilkie said, meant "Crown would be facilitating money-laundering for crimes like tax fraud, drug-running and terrorism".

In a press conference following his tabling of the information, Mr Wilkie said the "very nervous" group had divulged the information based on a promise he would not reveal their identities.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters also helped start the campaign.

Mr McCarthy said Mr Wilkie is a known opponent of poker machines and "has an axe to grind", which may be moderating the investor response to Crown shares at the moment.

"Crown can not be allowed to operate pokie machines until an independent audit has been completed".

"These are serious offences and the state government needs to act", Ms Hartland said.

"We know Crown Casino donated to Dan Andrews before the last election, but he can't let them get away with this", she said.



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