Crown Resorts hits back at Wilkie’s pokies-tampering claims

crown-resorts-wilkie-alexander-pokies-tamperingCrown Resorts has hit back against the Australian politician who leveled bombshell allegations of gaming device tampering and money laundering against the casino operator this week.

Earlier this week, Independent Senator Andrew Wilkie (pictured left) tabled evidence in parliament from three men claiming to be former staffers at Crown Melbourne, who accused management of illegally tampering with video poker machines (pokies) and helping high-rollers evade the scrutiny of anti-money laundering watchdogs.

Crown’s initial response was simply to reject the allegations, while urging Wilkie to turn over all his evidence to the authorities. But Crown’s executive chairman John Alexander is now pushing back harder in an angry open letter to Wilkie published in weekend newspapers.

In the letter, Alexander (pictured right) said Crown “emphatically” rejected the the “outrageous” and “deeply offensive” allegations and stated that “any employee found breaching our codes and practices would face severe disciplinary consequences.”

Alexander notes that Wilkie declined to repeat the allegations he so enthusiastically offered in the House of Representatives’ federation chamber, where his words were protected by parliamentary privilege.

Alexander claimed Wilkie was aware that “there are established channels for investigating any assertions and allegations. “Alexander went on to say that if Wilkie truly believes the whistleblowers are telling the truth, “he should stop the political games, step out of the parliament and make his claims without privilege.”

Crown Resorts shares closed out Friday’s trading having posted a 0.73% gain, but this modest rise followed two days of sharp sell-offs that wiped out roughly A$500m in market value. Crown’s shares had only just begun to recover from the selloff that followed last year’s arrests in China of Crown staffers for promoting gambling on the mainland.

Meanwhile, the fight over who bears responsibility for investigating the allegations against Crown ratcheted up on Friday after the Australian Federal Police (AFP) announced the affair would be “subject to an evaluation” by the national body. However, the other members of Wilkie’s ‘pokieleaks’ posse say they will continue to press for an independent senate inquiry in November.

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October 22, 2017: posted in News And Reviews No Comments

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