Casinos, a money laundering machine: Xenophon

Senator Nick Xenophon is pushing for a strengthening of Australia’s money laundering laws after a Chinese-Australian businessman allegedly laundered A$850 million ($641.2 million) through Melbourne’s Crown Casino.

Xenophon told the Australian Financial Review that while this case involved a large sum of money, there were many other instances of money laundering that have slipped through the cracks as they involved smaller amounts.

Xenophon has suggested to reduce the reporting threshold from A$10,000 to just A$1,000.

“Around Australia today money laundering is taking place using pokie machines. If you’ve just done a crystal meth deal, you could launder proceeds of that through the pokies, because the reporting requirements are so anaemic,” he said, quoted by AFR.

“It’s about the casinos and pokies being used to provide a high-speed washing and drying service.”

Xenophon made his comments after it was revealed Chinese-Australian citizen Dai Bai Shun Jin cashed-out of more than $850 million between 2005 and 2013 at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, according to the Australian Federal Police.

“Jin’s gambling appeared to be astronomical,” the police said in its submission to the Victorian Supreme court, who said the amount of money gambled away at Crown Casino was at odds with his known income sources.