Crown already accused of money laundering. This is the second time in a week that Crown has been fingered for potentially illegal dealings. Three Victorian state gambling inspectors leaked security camera footage from the Suncity junket room at Crown Melbourne that shows people exchanging hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash for casino chips. Self exclusion program Self Exclusion is available for customers who wish to ban themselves from the Casino. This may be a useful tool for those experiencing gambling problems. A Self Exclusion is for a minimum of 12 months, with other options available. NSW gambling regulators have banned Crown Resorts from opening its new Sydney casino due to money laundering concerns. The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) made the decision after the company made admissions that money laundering had likely occurred through its accounts.
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Jack and I aren’t allowed back in Melbourne’s Crown Casino. No, it’s not that we got kicked out for bad behavior or counting cards. This is a self imposed ban – a ban because time and time again we (he) witness our (his) complete lack of self control. So when my family wanted to go visit crown casino we came up with the next best thing, dinner near the casino.
Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons was the pick for the night. I had recently been there for my Christmas work party and was blown away by all the appetisers we had, plus my Risotto “Nero” squid ink flavored rice was excellent and messy, just the way I like it.
GAS doesn’t take reservations for dinner so we arrived at 5:50pm and were seated as they opened at 6pm. By 6:15pm the place was packed. Since I had the pleasure of eating there before I was that annoying dinner guest saying, “Okay, we should definitely have this. It’s so good.” and “Oh, yea that looks good but I think you should try this.” My family completely ignored me, as the should have. I don’t think we ordered one plate I had suggested, which was good! It would be a whole new experience for me.
Coincidentally enough, a quote on Robert Marchetti’s Facebook paints the picture of our time at GAS the best: “To create a Great social experience with Simple Food and Wine wherever we are- whether we’re at North Bondi Italian Food or Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons, or just hanging in our Butcher shop La Macelleria. We want to encourage everybody to think about quality not quantity and to have loads of fun. To be ethical in our choices on how food is raised and to keep food and wine real- not intellectual- because it’s for everybody to enjoy… keep rocking, keep eating, and keep having fun.”
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That is exactly what I want to hear from a restaurant when spending my time and money. And they really execute that loads of fun and quality vs. quantity aspects spectacularly. It’s almost like the waiters at GAS use their funny lab coats to put you under a spell. That would be the only reasonable explanation as to why, after our finger licking lamb chops, salami, proscuitto and osso buco, we wanted to keep rocking, keep drinking, and keep on having fun. And we did…
A businessman who was blacklisted by the United Nations and Australia for funding a war criminal was a Crown Resorts VIP room gambling high roller despite being subject to international sanctions.
The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have reported Joseph Wong was hit with financial and travel sanctions by the UN Security Council in 2004 over his relationship with Liberian dictator Charles Taylor. However, after these sanctions being placed, he repeatedly visited Crown’s high-roller rooms in Australia, confidential gambling records obtained by the publications.
Wong’s firm appeared on a UN Security Council sanctions blacklist for smuggling arms to Taylor, who was later indicted at The Hague for offences including murder, terror and rape.
Despite this, Wong seemed to freely entered Australia, where he gambling and losing more than $6 million at Crown in Australia between 2010 and 2018, according to The Saturday Paper.
The revelations about Joseph Wong’s activities at Crown’s Melbourne and Perth casinos suggest Crown may have sought the custom of big spenders without subjecting them to adequate screening and failing to detect high rollers for connections to money laundering.
Wong’s Security Council listing was endorsed by the federal government in April 2006 which should have prevented him entering Australia. The leaked records detailing Wong’s gambling reveal that he made multiple visits to Crown with an Indonesian high-roller business that was paid by Crown to attract extravagant gamblers.
Not answering specific questions to Wong, a Crown spokesman said it took “all of its obligations very seriously, and has no interest in being used by criminal elements”.
“In support of this, Crown works closely with Australia’s law enforcement and regulatory agencies on a range of matters, and assists in providing information for ongoing and new investigations.”
Australia: Sanctioned by both UN and Australia, arms-dealing high roller entered Australia freely and blew millions in Crown Resort VIP rooms '[Joseph] Wong's blacklisting by the UN could have been revealed with a simple Google search.'https://t.co/zWXHJSACmo via @theage
— Janne Nikkinen (@DocNikkinen) October 16, 2019
Regulation board asks for more time to conduct investigation
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation has recently asked for more time to conduct its own investigation into Crown’s junkets.
In a statement relating to Wong’s activities in Australia, a Home Affairs spokesman said “the department is aware of this case”.
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“The department thoroughly investigates instances of misuse of the visa system,” the spokesman said, which appears to be a reference to its decision in 2018 to ban Wong from entering Australia on character grounds.
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Wong’s organisation, the Oriental Timber Company, has been implicated by the United Nations and overseas authorities in smuggling arms to Taylor and financing his regime. Taylor’s regime was responsible for crimes against humanity carried out in Sierra Leone in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
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The UN Security Council in 2008 reported publicly that “Joseph Wong … received more than $8.5 million” in likely illicit funds. Money that it urged UN members to freeze.
In August 2010, Wong travelled to Perth from Asia on a private jet where he gambled at Crown’s high-roller room in Burswood. In late 2013, Wong lost over $4 million at the Mahogany Room at Crown’s Melbourne casino.
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In 2015, the UN lifted its sanctions regime that had named Wong and other supporters of Taylor. This was following the former Liberian president being jailed in the UK for overseeing a campaign of murder, rape and terror.
In 2018, Wong flew back into Australia where he lost $2 million in Crown’s high-roller rooms.
The news on Wong follows other controversies related to the casino giant. Video footage was shown earlier this week of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash being handed over from a shopping bag in a high-rollers’ room at Melbourne’s Crown Casino which sparked calls for a Royal Commission. On Tuesday, about 1000 Crown staff and their supporters marched on the Melbourne casino on Tuesday where they are fighting for better pay and job security.