The Australian government has ordered an investigation into ‘corruption allegations’ involving Melbourne’s Crown Casino and several government authorities. Attorney-General Christian Porter has referred allegations over Crown and government agencies to the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.
The casino has been the subject of a Nine News investigation exposing the company’s deal with the Home Affairs to attract Chinese gamblers to its Australian casinos. Earlier, Home Affairs admitted to a deal with Crown Casinos to fast-track visas for Chinese visitors to Australia. The corruption allegation adds to the list of other controversies the casino has been reeling with – links to drugs, brothels and alleged human trafficking.
In the wake of the allegations, Crown Casino and Commonwealth authorities will undergo an ‘integrity check’. Department of Home Affairs has agreed to having “stakeholder arrangements” with a number of large international organisations for the quick processing of short stay visas, but insisted there was no special treatment given to applicants.”
“The arrangement with Crown Casinos was put in place in 2003. The arrangement was last affirmed by the Minister in June 2011 and ceased in 2016,” a spokesperson for the department said.
Mr Porter, meanwhile said his decision to refer the matter to the commission did not suggest he had any evidence that supported allegations against Commonwealth authorities. “Rather it’s the case that Section 18 of the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act might be called a precautionary referral provision,” he said.
Mr Porter said the commission was the most appropriate body to consider the allegations and had the ability to “hold hearings, exercise coercive powers and seize evidence”.
Nine News has also alleged that Crown Resorts paid a brothel owner and alleged money launderer to lure high rollers to its Australian Casinos, it also said that ‘Asian sex workers have been flown into Australia on private jets’.