Legislative Council: Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Adelaide Casino

In reply to the Hon. C. BONAROS ().14 June 2023).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs has advised:

I can advise the honourable member, the holder of the state's casino licence, SkyCity Adelaide, is not approving the appointment of the independent monitor but has been asked to provide the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner, Mr Dini Soulio, with the details of entities who could be considered for appointment as the independent monitor.

This does not mean that SkyCity will get to handpick its own independent expert. The commissioner, as the state's gambling regulator, will determine who is appointed to be the independent monitor and the terms on which they are appointed.

The commissioner has kept me informed of the progress of this matter and the issuing of a direction to require the appointment of the independent monitor is significant and not a matter that has been taken lightly. It is important that the community can have confidence that the operator of the Adelaide Casino is effectively minimising gambling harm and ensuring the compliance with all anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing obligations.

The community can be assured that the commissioner will only approve the appointment of the independent monitor if he is satisfied that the proposed entity is suitably qualified, can fulfil its duties in an impartial, independent manner and importantly, is at arm's length from the Casino.

The commissioner has directed that any costs arising from the independent monitor will be borne fully by SkyCity, not by the South Australian taxpayer.

In response to the honourable member's question regarding AUSTRAC, as the member is aware, as a result of AUSTRAC commencing proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against SkyCity, Mr Martin informed the commissioner that until these proceedings are resolved, it is not possible to determine reliably the question of suitability under his terms of reference.

I am advised that while the court has not indicated at this time when it expects to set the matter down for hearing, the commissioner having examined the preliminary material provided by Mr Martin and the allegations contained in the statement of claim filed by AUSTRAC in the Federal Court, concluded that there is some overlap between the two matters and as a result determined to place Mr Martin's investigation on hold until the AUSTRAC proceedings have been resolved and to direct the appointment of an independent monitor.

Importantly, the material provided to the commissioner by Mr Martin are his preliminary views, noting that the investigation is yet to conclude. As such, in the absence of any definitive findings being reported, the release of any information at this time could prejudice any subsequent investigation or future disciplinary action being taken against SkyCity.

Furthermore, in accordance with section 19 of the Gambling Administration Act 2019, the commissioner is prevented from disclosing information obtained in the course of carrying out official function.