Stop Crown Casino’s pursuit of young people

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Greens MP Samantha Ratnam questions the Andrews Labor Government about Crown’s new plan for pokies targeted at young people, and asks whether they will rule out the introduction of these new addiction machines.

Buying Influence

An inside look at Crown’s political donations

Australian corporations donate millions of dollars to the old political parties, and they do it to gain access to politicians and influence laws to benefit their businesses. This is no secret – lobbyists from a range of industries have publicly admitted to using this strategy.

Crown is no exception. It has donated more than $1.4 million in the past decade to the Labor, Liberals and Nationals parties across Australia, particularly in Victoria and Western Australia where Crown owns casinos in Melbourne and Perth.

It’s clear that Crown’s donations are having an impact. You only need to look at the voting records of Labor, Liberals and Nationals MPs when faced with a gambling bill in parliament. They will overwhelmingly vote to prop up casinos and the gambling industry, at the expense of people in the community who are left to deal with the destruction from addictive pokies.

How Crown Casino is gaming the system

TAMPERING WITH POKIES

Crown Casino has been caught out tampering with pokies in order to maximise player losses, such as blanking out buttons so only minimum and maximum betting options were available. Fresh evidence also shows that Crown provides players with plastic picks to jam buttons down so they can gamble non-stop.

DONATIONS TO POLITICAL PARTIES

Political donations are often used by corporations to gain access to politicians, and influence law making. Crown regularly makes donations to the Labor, Liberals and Nationals political parties across Australia. Crown has donated more than $1.4 million over the past 10 years, with the total donations steadily increasing over the past decade.

INEFFECTIVE REGULATION

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the state’s gambling regulator, and widely known for being a toothless tiger. In 2017 a Victorian Auditor-General’s Office investigation delivered a scathing report on the regulator, finding that it was failing to do its job, cutting corners and not sufficiently monitoring gambling venues like the casino.

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ABOVE THE LAW

It is illegal for pokies to run on continuous play in Victoria, but Crown Casino is largely exempt from this law. That’s because there is a loophole that allows the gambling regulator (VCGLR) to allow some locations to be exempt from this law, and the VCGLR has assigned most of the casino premises to be exempt.