Wed, Aug 7, 7:58am by Staff Writer
Australian NBA superstar Ben Simmons claimed he was denied entry into Melbourne’s Crown Casino, alleging he was racially profiled.
10 Daily reports the Philadelphia 76ers guard posted a video on Instagram on Tuesday night, but the casino refuted his version of events.
The event has now been deleted from his personal account, but is circulating widely on social media.
In the video, Simmons claims he was not allowed into Crown Casino because of his race.
“I find it so crazy that the only guy who doesn’t get checked to go into the casino is this guy,” Simmons said in the video, turning to camera to show a man with white skin.
Simmons went on to say that he got checked, two of his friends got checked, but “damn and they didn’t let me in, or him or this guy.”
“Wow, we got a long way to go,” Simmons added.
“Thank you Crown Casino,” he said.
It remains unclear whether entry was denied to the NBA superstar, who recently inked a $242 million five-year NBA contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.
It was initially suggested his entry was refused due to the camouflage pants he wore, which are considered “unacceptable” under Crown’s dress code.
Crown issued a statement on Tuesday morning, which said: “Crown strenuously rejects reports that it discriminated against a group of visitors last night.”
“Crown’s internal security policy requires our security officers to check identification of those persons they believe to be under the age of 25, this is an enhanced safeguard to ensure that no one under the age of 18 is permitted entry to the Casino Floor as required by Law.”
“The group subsequently provided identification and were permitted entry. Crown is an inclusive workplace.”
Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday he had not yet seen the video.
“He’s a great sporting figure and obviously we wouldn’t want to see anybody treated in any way other than fairly,” he said.
“I haven’t seen the video though which really is I think for Crown to speak to around, they have a different view of what happened … We don’t want any Victorian treated on any basis other than their merit and when it comes to these sort of security issues, people should be treated on their conduct and nothing else would be a factor.”
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) August 6, 2019
Political pressure is building on Crown Resorts after its alleged links to money laundering and the federal government’s fast-tracking of visas for the casino’s Chinese high rollers, with a growing number of crossbench politicians pushing to set up a federal parliamentary inquiry.
The Financial Review reported last week that the Greens are pressing Labor to support a Senate inquiry into alleged “special favours” Crown receive from the government in relation to fast-tracking visas and lobbying government ministers.
Labor deputy leader Richard Marles called on Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to explain his department’s handling of visa approvals for Crown’s foreign clients visiting Australia.
The Opposition is yet to support an inquiry pushed by several crossbench MPs and senators. Labor’s backing would be required.
Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick told the Financial Review he would endorse a “broad” inquiry into Crown and its relationship with governments, including the fast-tracking of visas by the then-Department of Immigration and alleged money laundering at its Melbourne casino, as revealed by Nine’s 60 Minutes.
“This is a very serious issue and Centre Alliance would support an inquiry,” Senator Patrick said.
Unlike state governments that were beholden to the casino industry for tax revenue, Senator Patrick said Centre Alliance was independent.
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