On Thursday morning the Minister repeatedly said the matter was “complex” and that she would await the findings of the regulator’s investigation before formalising the involvement of federal agencies.
“I have jurisdiction over the regulator.
“Let us conclude these investigations. If more work needs to be done, I’d be more than happy to ask for a formal co-operation between the two jurisdictions.
She said the response from Mr Porter had been “positive” but stopped short of committing to calling in Victoria Police or setting up a specialised taskforce.
“At the moment they are all allegations … If these allegations are founded they will be referred to police,” she said.
Earlier in the week, a VCGLR inspector leaked footage of a man in a private room at Melbourne’s Crown Casino unzipping a bag with neatly stacked bricks of cash.
The regulator’s chairman Ross Kennedy said he rejects suggestions the regulator doesn’t take it’s role seriously.
“The VCGLR is currently reviewing video footage that has emerged this week,” Mr Kennedy said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Age on Thursday revealed businessman Joseph Wong, who is subject to international sanctions for his relationship with Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, repeatedly visited Crown’s high-roller rooms.
Ms Kairouz said these were “just allegations” but were serious and required further attention.
“We take these allegations very seriously. I’ve said that all along.
“It is quite disturbing if it is correct,” she said.
The Minister said nobody is above the law but admitted she had not personally contacted Crown Casino or Victoria Police regarding the allegations.
“The commissions’ role is to speak to Crown Casino.”
Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said the revelations about Mr Wong there are “major, major problems” in the way Crown is regulated.
“What has gone wrong? This shouldn’t have happened.
“This bloke shouldn’t have been in Australia, let alone punting millions at the casino.
Mr O’Brien said the regulators need to clarify the status of their investigations “to make sure the flaws in the system that allowed this to happen are identified and it won’t happen again”.
Charlotte is a reporter for The Age.