Australian gaming regulator grilled over Macau trip
- 7th July 2014
politicians in Western Australia are demanding more
details about a trip to Macau made by a senior official
of the states gaming regulator. According to
the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the
trip was paid for by Crown Perth (pictured), a property
of Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd.
national broadcasters ABC News service said
that Barry Sergeant, director general of WAs
Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor, travelled
to Macau at Crowns expense last year.
Sargeant reportedly spent three days in Macau gathering
information about Crowns competition in Asia.
Packer chairs Crown Resorts. His firm is also an investor
in Macau casinos via the Melco Crown Entertainment
Ltd joint venture, of which Mr Packer is co-chairman.
Labor Party said it appeared that as far as the regulators
trip was concerned, the departments guidelines
regarding accepting gifts and hospitality had been
breached, the ABC reported.
approached the office of Western Australias
Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron and also
Crown Resorts for comment on the issue, but no one
was immediately available.
Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquors code
of conduct states: Giving or receiving gifts
or hospitality could result in decision-making being,
or appearing to be, improperly influenced. You must
not accept any gift, gratuity or hospitality offered
in connection with your duties (except as permitted
by our policies), or ask for any remuneration or benefit
for doing your duties.
oppositions acting spokesman on accountability,
Ken Travers, was quoted by the ABC as saying: The
Minister needs to explain why he approved this trip
and how he is now going to ensure conflicts of interest,
or potential conflicts of interest, are managed in
ABC quoted a statement from Mr Waldron in which he
was reported saying it was entirely appropriate
for Mr Sargeant to be better informed about challenges
in the market and that the director-general
manages conflicts, perceived or otherwise, in accordance
with government guidelines.
the face of significantly increased regional competition
from various Asian markets, the purpose of Mr Sargeants
trip was for him to gain a greater understanding of
the international VIP business in Macau and implications
for local operations, the minister was quoted