Crime Commission possibly misled on money laundering
The NSW Crime Commission's scathing report into gaming likely did not reflect the full extent of money laundering in clubs and pubs across the state, an independent MP says.
The commission's damning 2022 report found criminals were funnelling billions of dollars of "dirty" cash through poker machines in pubs and clubs every year in NSW but there were no effective controls or data collection to identify or prosecute those involved.
The landmark report prompted a range of reforms including a transition to cashless gaming.
Sydney MP Alex Greenwich is calling for a range of documents held by Liquor and Gaming NSW, the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the minister for gaming and racing that were created between October 2021 and June 2022.
All email correspondence, including section 21 notices issued to a range of pubs and clubs across western Sydney and their responses as well as centralised monitoring system data on suspicious transactions at particular venues and documents relating to gaming machine compliance checks will be sought.
"If further information about money laundering is not included in the public Crime Commission report, which I have heard exists with Liquor and Gaming NSW, members should have access to that information," Mr Greenwich said.
The MP said information that had been brought to his attention "may have constrained the investigations" by the commission, citing complaints that clubs had been provided with advance notice of compliance checks.
Some information indicates "there is much more to the story" when it comes to money laundering in pubs and clubs, he said.
"The information that I have been made aware of will suggest that the Crime Commission likely did not reflect the full extent and type of money laundering that is occurring in clubs and pubs across NSW," Mr Greenwich told reporters on Thursday.
It was "deeply concerning" that some information indicated clubs had been provided with advance notice of compliance checks, he said.
"I am not aware of the full extent of the detail of it. Hence, I've requested the details.
"It's unclear to me why, if that information is out there, it has not been reflected in the Crime Commission report," he said.
Mr Greenwich said he received unanimous support in parliament in calling for the papers which are expected to arrive by June 23.
The documents will initially be limited to members and could be made public if appropriate or referred on to police, the Crime Commission, the Casino Control Commission or other bodies.
The Crime Commission report in 2022 found poker machines were one of the last safe havens for criminals by allowing them to launder large amounts of cash.
Commissioner Michael Barnes estimated "many billions" of the $95 billion put through the machines each year were attributed to money laundering.