Crown Casino accused of illegally extending credit to Australians

by Noah Taylor Last Updated

Crown LimitedMELBOURNE’S gambling mecca – Crown Casino – has been accused of breaking state gambling laws and offering lines of credit to Australian punters.

An investigation from The Age this week accused Crown of extending credit to local residents by taking liberties with the interpretation of regulations surrounding the redemption of cheques and chip vouchers.

According to the Casino Control Act of 1991, Australian residents must pay for chips in advance by cash, cheque, travellers’ cheque or a voucher. The casino is however allowed to extend credit to international VIPs – leading to more questions on how the casino has defined its ‘international’ players.

Responding to the allegations, a Crown spokesman said that any suggestion Crown had breached the state laws was “wrong and baseless”.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation gave Crown a tick of approval after an extensive review in 2013.

AustralianGambling was able to speak to a regular in Crown Casino’s high rollers’ Mahogony Room. Wishing to remain anonymous, he said that while the option was never advertised or promoted, he was aware of many local punters that had a line of credit with the casino.

“They are very, very careful with how they word everything to avoid any legal issues, but yes, credit is an option and I know some big local punters that have never taken their own cash to the casino,” he said.

“It’s not the kind of long-term credit you will see online bookies give to their members. The casino isn’t like a bank, it’s not like the newspapers will have you believe.

“The credit I’ve seen given is on the lower-end, usually between $5,000-$50,000, not exactly the hundreds of thousands they will offer to the big overseas punters.

“You do some paperwork, get approval and you’re set to go – from what I’ve seen and heard, unless you’re a very, very big punter, you don’t get more than a couple of weeks to pay it back.”

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