Legislative Council: Tuesday, October 31, 2023


Adelaide Casino

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (14:53): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs, a question about the crisis-plagued Adelaide Casino.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: The chairman of SkyCity Entertainment Group, the owners of the Adelaide Casino, has made the startling revelation that the company will probably admit to allegations that the Adelaide Casino breached anti-money laundering laws and pay a multimillion-dollar penalty. Speaking to a journalist in New Zealand, where the company is based, chairman Julian Cook said:

We are yet to strike a final agreement with AUSTRAC, but, if we do, it will most likely include admissions of such nature. We will probably be paying a fine.

At the centre of SkyCity's pain is Federal Court action initiated by AUSTRAC alleging criminals laundered almost $4 billion at the Casino over the past six years. While a final outcome is yet to be determined, SkyCity recently advised the Australian Stock Exchange that it has put aside $45 million to cover a potential civil penalty from its anti-money laundering case. My questions to the minister are:

1. What penalties can the government impose on the Casino operator should it plead guilty to the charges or is found guilty of them?

2. Has the government sought legal advice on withdrawing SkyCity's licence to operate the Casino should it be found guilty or admit guilt to the charges?

3. Does the government continue to have confidence in the operators of Adelaide Casino given these latest revelations?

4. How many compliance checks/inspections have been carried out by government inspectors since the AUSTRAC allegations were revealed and is it more than would normally occur given recent events?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:55): I thank the honourable member for his questions. As he outlined, the responsible minister is the Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs, the Hon. Andrea Michaels, in another place and I will be more than happy to pass those questions to the minister responsible and bring back a reply for the honourable member.