State government ready to make any changes recommended by review into Adelaide Casino
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas will not rule out significant changes to how the Adelaide casino is run, with a review of SkyCity’s eligibility to hold a casino license due within days.
Key points: A retired Supreme Court judge has been investigating SkyCity Adelaide’s operations since July last year His report is expected to be presented to the government this week SkyCity Adelaide says it has fully co-operated with the review
Former Supreme Court Justice Brian Martin KC has been investigating the casino operator since July and will report to Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Dini Soulio as soon as Wednesday.
Mr Malinauskas said on Tuesday that the process was being watched closely.
Asked if the state government was preparing to make significant changes to the way the casino operates, Mr Malinauskas said “we’re certainly not ruling it out”.
“If the government forms the view that SkyCity has not operated the casino in accordance with a position of integrity, then we stand ready to make any necessary changes,” he said.
“But let’s allow the appropriate process to be completed. We’ve started an independent review. We want to do it properly.”
SkyCity says its Adelaide operations have fully co-operated with requests for information and documents. (ABC News: Sarah Mullins)
Last month, national financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC launched court proceedings against SkyCity Adelaide.
It followed an 18-month investigation, with AUSTRAC alleging systemic failures in how SkyCity dealt with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws.
Court documents describe cash offered to the North Terrace casino that was dirty and apparently buried.
AUSTRAC’s documents state SkyCity Adelaide was aware of information suggesting some of its clients were linked to organized crime or that their source of funds may not have been “legitimate”.
AUSTRAC’s statement of claim outlines 59 cases of clients, including one person who listed their occupation as a “meatpacker” with casino staff, $85 million turnover.
Peter Malinauskas says he expects SkyCity Adelaide to have the best interests of the South Australian community at heart. (ABC News: Che Chorley)
Mr Malinauskas said on Tuesday the government expected SkyCity to “operate with integrity and abide by the law”.
“I believe the management that is in place is committed to that exercise,” he said
“But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be subjected to serious scrutiny because it’s a privilege to own and operate a casino.”
“We expect them to have the best interests of the South Australian community at heart. And the Brian Martin review allows for that to be investigated.”
In a statement to ABC News, SkyCity said its Adelaide operation had “fully co-operated” with the independent Martin review, any requests for information and documents.
It said it looked forward to working with the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner when the report was available.
“Continuous improvement of our AML/CTF (anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing) and host responsibility programs is a key priority for SkyCity Adelaide,” the statement said.
Mr Malinauskas said unless there was a good reason not to, the Martin review would be released publicly.